Wildfire Prevention

Our Wildfire Risk

Westminster Glen Estates is in a wildland urban interface zone, with natural areas within and surrounding our subdivision. Wildfires are a common occurrence in Central Texas and made worse by alternating years of plentiful rainfall followed by drought.

Westminster Glen and Glenlake are surrounded by the huge wildland area of the Balcones Preserve. Plus, many of the lots in both neighborhoods have the characteristics of wildlands: relatively undisturbed topography with large amounts of natural vegetation.

Roads internal to our subdivision are critical for evacuation but may also be threatened by the fire on the adjacent right-of-ways and wildland lots.

In addition, evacuation from both neighborhoods is limited to two roads: City Park Road to FM2222 and Big View through River Place to FM2222. In the event of a wildfire emergency, both of these roads could be jammed.


Austin Wildland-Urban Interface Code

To help mitigate a potential wildfire disaster, the Austin City Council voted on April 9, 2020 to approve the new 2015 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (WUIC), making Austin the first major city in the state of Texas to adopt such a code; implementation is slated to begin on January 1, 2021.

The City can identify areas of wildfire vulnerability beyond just the structures that are adjacent to wildlands, but embers can travel up to a mile and a half from their point of origin. If the only folks who hardened their homes against wildfire were the ones who lived next to the woods or parks, a large wildfire would just skip over the street and burn down the rest of the neighborhood. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recorded a fantastic case study where they engineered an ember storm in a controlled setting to test the resistance of home-building materials to a fire nearby, which supports the rationale for the WUIC.

To read about the plans, click here to see the posting from Austin Fire’s Wildfire Division.


Will We Survive?

Be Prepared: check out the important infomation at Ready.gov.

Look at this high-impact presentation by Randall Jamieson from the recent Wildfire Community Symposium. 


Watch the Wildfire Simulation

Click here to see a video of the simulation of a fire heading toward our neighborhood conducted in February, 2018, by Austin Fire Department.


Property Assessments

If you would like to have your house and property assessed for susceptibilty to wildfires please send your name to firewise@wmghoa.org  The evaluations will be performed strictly outside, but the homeowner needs to attend. Each takes about an hour to complete.


What Can We Do to Minimize Our Risk?

Defensible Space

Creating defensible space is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire—either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home. Click here for more...

Right-of-way Fire Hazards

In the event of wildfire, our Right-of-Ways (ROWs) are critical: they can contibute to the spread of fire and they might prevent safe evacuation from the area. Click here for more…

Firewise® Program

Firewise is a certification program sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association. It recognizes and supports community efforts to reduce the risk of wildfires. Basic elements include:

1. Preparing your property so that you minimize the spread of fire to your house and neighbors;

2. Learning what to do in the event of encroaching wildfire; and

3. Learning where to go and how to leave quickly in the event of imminent fire.

The essential steps in the Firewise program are:

· Education

· Property Assessment by trained advisors

· Preparedness planning for both individual homes and the neighborhood.

· Execution of plans to remove fire-available fuels.

· Continuous improvement in education and preparedness.

Click Here for more information from the Firewise website.


Firewise Note 1: 

Your Home’s Wildfire Risk

Understanding how wildfires spread improves our ability to protect our homes. Key factors that affect the spread of wildfire are...Click for more


Firewise Note 2: 

Defending Our Homes Against Wildfires

We live in Westminster Glen Estates, in part, because of the peaceful and lovely setting. The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve which surrounds us...Click for more

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