California firefighters tour the most wildfire-prone areas in Austin


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Fire Association is leading a two-day tour of some of the most wildfire-prone areas in Austin.

City council members, neighborhood leaders and firefighters from California were in attendance to tour River Place, one of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

CoreLogic recently released a wildfire risk report that ranks the Austin area as the 5th highest risk in the nation for a major wildfire incident, with 53,000 plus residents at an extreme risk.

Back in September, KXAN told you that the Austin Fire Department was in the process of adopting a Wildlife Interface Code, or “WUI.”

The code would implement new requirements for building materials on new construction, making them more fire-resistant. This would be near areas that have more fire-prone trees and brush.

We also told you the city had cleared just 11% of the city’s 100 “treatable acres,” meaning high-risk areas that are within 150 feet of private properties.

Justice Jones of the Austin Fire Department’s Wildfire Mitigation Division says the department continues to prioritize areas for treatment.

We’re making progress toward making additional treatment,” he said. “Every day our fuels crews are working five days a week.”

City council member Alison Alter pushed for a bigger fuel mitigation budget this year. That money will help supplement AFD’s Fuel Mitigation Team with contracted workers.

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