AUSTIN (KXAN) — A homeless encampment in the West Bouldin Creek area has been formally declared closed after 72 people and 15 pets were relocated from the encampment to the Southbridge Shelter, according to the City of Austin.

The people and pets were relocated from the encampment as part of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link, or HEAL Initiative, a release from the City of Austin said.

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said during a Tuesday press conference on wildfire preparation that the city has been “paying specific attention” to homeless encampments and taking precautionary measures in wildfire prevention through relocating people staying at encampments into shelters. Watson said these efforts are because 90% of wildfires are caused by people and are preventable.

According to the release, HEAL carries out the closures of homeless encampments that pose the highest public health and safety risks. Preparation for the closure has included doubling capacity at the City’s Southbridge Shelter to accommodate additional HEAL program participants.

People experiencing homelessness at the West Bouldin Creek area encampment site were offered transfer to the shelter and connection to housing resources.

The encampment has been formally declared closed, and a work zone has been designated while an extensive cleanup process is underway.

The clean-up effort is still underway and expected to take several weeks. It’s being organized by the Parks and Recreation Department with support from Austin Resource Recovery, the Austin Police Department and a private contractor.

Since HEAL began in June of 2021, 618 people have voluntarily moved from high-risk encampments to the City’s Southbridge and Northbridge shelters, the city said.