This summer in Central Texas is predicted to be hotter and drier than usual, which could result in an above-average number of wildfires, said Cedar Park Fire Chief James Mallinger, who also serves as the president of the Williamson County Fire Chiefs Association.
“[We ask] each homeowner and business to do their part in keeping the city safe,” he said. “This can be done [by]keeping grass, shrubs and trees maintained to prevent a ground fire from easily reaching [your]roof.”
Mallinger said his department trains its members to be wildland firefighters, and because of the training and property maintenance, there have been low fire losses in Cedar Park in past years.
Leander Fire Chief Bill Gardner said one way the department minimizes fire risks is through coordinating with developers.
“[We work with] developers and planners to help create safe areas that can reduce the threat of fire when possible, and to identify fire-resistant plant lists for landscaping on new construction developments,” Gardner said.
Jarred Thomas, the director of the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management, said at a media conference May 9 that residents can prepare for wildfires by remembering “Ready, Set, Go!”, a nationwide program that offers a step-by-step plan for fire preparedness.
Thomas said that the best way to notify residents of a wildfire is through their phone, so he recommended residents register for WarnCentralTexas.org, a regional notification system run by the Capital Area Council of Governments.
People may sign up for the emergency notification system at www.warncentraltexas.org.