Austin
12:24 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Defense Against Wildfire

Yesterday’s Oak Hill fire burned 100 acres, and it was exactly what fire officials here have feared for years, because of one of the very things people love about southwest Austin: its urban/wildland interface. 

Firefighters say there are a few things people can do to protect their homes from wildfires.  AFD Battalion Chief Palmer Buck says homeowners should clear out brush around the perimeter of their homes.

“If you have a wooden fence wrapped against a cedar break, you probably need to rethink that because that is going to be very difficult to get our crews back there to extinguish if you back up to a green belt as opposed to a chain link or rod iron fence, where the brush is cleared back away from your home,” said Chief Buck.

Buck says people should consider where they put outdoor patios and decorations.  He said people should reconsider wooden decks and gazebos. In the construction of homes, he says bricks better than wood siding.  Roofs and gutters should be cleared of debris regularly, and garden hoses should be put on all sides of your home in case of an emergency.  Fire tools, such as a ladder, shovel, rake and buckets, should also be handy.