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Grass or trees, wildfire risk is all over Austin and Travis County

Wildfire preparedness in Austin and Travis County is in focus today with the Austin Fire Department.

They're having their 7th annual Wildfire Symposium today. Wildfire Mitigation Officer Justice Jones says a new tool that pinpoints what areas are most at risk is out. "It was always looked at the standpoint of intensity; how hot and intense a fire could be. That's one lens, and that mainly puts the bullseye on the western part of city and county." Jones says the western part of the county has traditionally been deemed most at-risk due to the trees but the eastern part of the county has grasslands that catch fire too. "So what we came to conclusion of is that all of Austin and Travis County, both east and west have potential for major impacts from wildfire."

Jones says As much as fire itself causes problems, smoke inhalation can be just as bad for many in the community. "And so the risk is broad and covers a huge geographic area of Austin. So there's not a part of the city or county that we can ignore when it comes to wildfire risk."

Here is the information about the symposium from the Austin Fire Department.

WHO:                           Austin Fire Department’s Wildfire Division 

WHAT:                         Our 7th annual free Wildfire Community Preparedness Symposium, discussing the wildfire risk in Austin and Travis County. Topics covered will include home protection, assessing risk, and preparedness. 
WHEN:                        Friday, May 3, 2019
                                      9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

WHERE:                      Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd. 

SPEAKERS:                Kelly Pohl with Headwaters Economics (“Socioeconomic Tools for Wildfire Resilience in Austin). Austin’s wildfire risk has been the subject of several of their reports including the most recent, “Wildfire and Vulnerable Populations in Austin.”

Dr. Maria Estrada, Associate Director for Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion at The Nature Conservancy (“Strength-Based Community Building”), a partner in the creation of the Fire-Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net), of which AFD is a member. 

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