Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


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In the Hill Country, Fighting Fires Before They Start

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Steiner Ranch residents have been working to clear out dry brush from the woods around their houses.

Since the Labor Day wildfires of 2011, many communities have begun taking it upon themselves to make their homes safer in the event of another wildfire.  One of those places is Steiner Ranch, a planned community near Lake Travis, in the Hill Country outside of Austin.

Recently a group of volunteers, firefighters and residents got together to clean brush and dead trees from the woods surrounding the community.

“As far as we’re aware of this is the first program of its kind in Texas, definitely in Travis County,” says John Durham, assistant fire chief for Lake Travis. Durham’s team came equipped with chain saws, a Bobcat and a large dumpster to clear the undergrowth and deadfall. Once its collected, it will be taken to a composting company that volunteered to take care of the trees for free. Continue Reading

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