READY, SET, GO!
READY. Prepare for the possibility of a wild land fire before the threat occurs. Take preventive actions to make your home safer from the threat of wildfire by using Firewise and similar principles (firewise.org). Please read below for prevention tips from the Texas Forest Service:
•Propane and gas tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep area around the tank clear of flammable vegetation.
•Store gasoline in an approved safety can away from occupied buildings.
• All combustibles such as firewood, wooden picnic tables, boats, stacked lumber, etc. should be kept away from structures.
•Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
•Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
•In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least 3 times the fuel length around all structures.
•Have fire tools handy such as: ladder long enough to reach your roof, shovel, rake, and a bucket or two for water.
•Place connected garden hoses at all sides of your home for emergency use.
•Assure that you and your family know all emergency exits from your home.
•Assure that you and your family know all emergency exits from your neighborhood.
•Create a defensible space of at least 30 feet around your house and outbuildings; closely mow lawns and trees should be pruned and spaced widely apart.
•Establish fuel breaks along roadways and between buildings and fields or woodlands.
•Keep mufflers and spark arresters on agricultural equipment in proper working order and watch out for rocks and metal when bush hogging or mowing.
•Watch out for sparks when using welding equipment to build fences or repair equipment.
•Avoid driving or parking vehicles in grassy areas where tall, dry grass comes into contact with hot pollution control equipment under vehicles.
•Do not engage in any outdoor burning.
Please continue to water grass and shrubs as allowed by the municipal authorities.
SET. Elevate your family’s awareness when fire weather occurs or when
wildland fire activity increases. Form a family disaster plan.
•Agree on an evacuation plan that includes what to do if you get separated and where you’ll go in case of evacuation.
•Pack critical medicines, important documents, family heirlooms to be readyto leave at a moment’s notice.
GO. This is the simplest step: Execute your disaster plan by leaving early,
well before the fire arrives.
IF INSTRUCTED TO EVACUATE – DO SO! Your “stuff” isn’t more important than your LIFE.
Resources: texasfirestorm.org and redcross.org.
If you see someone violating the burn ban, call 311 immediately and ask for the Hays County Sherriff’s office to report the activity.
Please be vigilant and take every safety precaution seriously. Our lives and homes could depend on it.