Austin
7:51 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Council Takes Steps for Wildfire Protection

Every day without measurable rain worsens the risk of wildfire here in Central Texas. And the Austin Fire Department is stepping up its efforts to be ready.

The Austin City Council Thursday approved a five-year agreement with the Texas A&M Forest Service to get more and better firefighting gear, at a lower cost, through the National Wildfire Program.

Jim Linardos, assistant director of the fire department, says the gear is also standard among firefighting agencies at local, state and national levels, which helps when working together.

“These tools, they’re more of the national standard tools, but they’re also at a discounted rate, so not only are they the right tool, but we get a good price for it,” Linardos said.

The council also agreed to team up with Travis County on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and accepted a grant of more than $111,000 from FEMA for firefighter health and safety training.