During the 2011 Labor Day wildfires, approximately 7,000 acres burned in Travis County, destroying 57 homes. In Bastrop County, the wildfires caused the largest per-capita loss in the nation’s history with wildfire consuming 34,000 acres and 1,700 homes.
Following these wildfires, Austin and Travis County officials formed the Joint Wildfire Task Force (JWTF) to increase the region’s wildfire preparedness and encourage the development of Fire-Adapted Communities (FACs).
The Austin/Travis County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is the next major step in developing a regional strategy, aligned with national best practices, to increase wildfire preparedness. This non-regulatory document accomplishes this by restoring and maintaining landscapes, creating and supporting FACs, and implementing a risk-based management response to wildfires. The CWPP, link below, is the primary tool that communities and stakeholders should use to prepare for wildfire. It contains all of the scientific data in one place and offers a plan that communities can customize to their area’s specific needs.
It’s not a question of if another major wildfire will hit us – but when. Wildfire is everyone’s fight. Know your risk, take steps to reduce it, and become fire adapted.