Updated 08/07/2012 07:49 AM
Experts warn safety commission of extreme fire danger
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Experts say 100 degree heat, paired with no rain, is more fuel than ever for wildfires. The city's Public Safety Commission heard that warning firsthand Monday.
Public Safety Commission Vice Chair Mike Levy has become the town crier for fire danger awareness.
"Every expert who has come before the commission has said we are at a high, high risk of having a wild land fire hit Austin, touch Austin, and create a fire storm," he said. "We have a huge amount of drier and drier vegetation and we call it fuel and those of us who really understand the problem, we're scared."
The commission is asking the Austin City Council to mandate the clearing of vegetation that threatens neighborhoods.
"The western threat of Travis County, the western part of Austin, still has a high threat of wildfire,” Austin Fire Department Chief of Staff Harry Evans said. “The three drivers of the threat as we all know are topography, vegetation and weather."
The Public Safety Commission has asked the Austin City Council to add another fire station in West Austin Loop 360 area, where fire threat is the highest.
Central Texas is nearing its one-year anniversary of the Labor Day wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes in Bastrop County, and dozens here in Austin.