Two dozen firefighters battled a two-alarm structure fire …
Updated: Friday, 27 Feb 2009, 6:11 PM CST
Published : Friday, 27 Feb 2009, 4:58 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Forest Service has issued a warning for North, Central and South Texas. There is a heightened fire danger this weekend. Behind a cold front, strong winds, low relative humidity values and critically dry vegetation could easily fuel wildfires.
West Lake Hills in Travis County is taking action. It has been designated as a "firewise" city. They have taken steps to reduce their fire danger.
"The most important thing we do is to keep up with the ground clutter," said West Lake Hills resident Joe Foy. "The debris which provides kindling for the larger wildfires."
Residents pile the debris on the curb, and the city will pick up the brush piles next week.
According the West Lake Hills Fire Department the wildfire threat in western Travis County could rival California's. Texas does not see as strong of winds, and there is higher relative humidity. Both help. But, a fire as large as those in California could climb the slopes of Western Travis County in minutes. It would use the tight tree canopies as a ladder to reach homes.
"The sky would be black with smoke," said West Lake Hills assistant fire chief Mike Elliot. "It's be like we'd be at dusk. The flames could reach hundreds of feet."
Officials said homes need to be 30 to 100 feet from brush in order to protect them from fire. Paying attention to burn bans and red flag warnings is also important.
"The fire weather when we do have these days, be extra careful with BBQ pits, smoking materials, anything that could ignite a wildfire," said Elliot.
Start a wildfire and you could see a fine of $500.