AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Forest Service has issueda warning for North, Central and South Texas. There is aheightened fire danger this weekend. Behind a cold front, strongwinds, low relative humidity values and critically dry vegetationcould easily fuel wildfires.
West Lake Hills in Travis County is taking action. It has beendesignated as a "firewise" city. They have taken steps to reducetheir fire danger.
"The most important thing we do is to keep up with the groundclutter," said West Lake Hills resident Joe Foy. "The debris whichprovides kindling for the larger wildfires."
Residents pile the debris on the curb, and the city will pick upthe brush piles next week.
According the West Lake Hills Fire Department the wildfirethreat in western Travis County could rival California's. Texasdoes not see as strong of winds, and there is higher relativehumidity. Both help. But, a fire as large as those in Californiacould climb the slopes of Western Travis County in minutes. Itwould use the tight tree canopies as a ladder to reach homes.
"The sky would be black with smoke," said West Lake Hillsassistant 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 inorder to protect them from fire. Paying attention to burn bans andred flag warnings is also important.
"The fire weather when we do have these days, be extra carefulwith BBQ pits, smoking materials, anything that could ignite awildfire," said Elliot.
Start a wildfire and you could see a fine of $500.
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