FAQs: Fire Risks, Wildfires & Fireworks

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What are the most important things I can do personally protect my family and home from a wild fire?
    A: On February 24th, 2020 Will Boettner, Travis County Wildfire Specialist, gave a presentation on Wildfire Preparedness and left Canyon Creek residents with three key actions:
    • ACTION: Get a Home Ignition Zone Assessment. This assessment is free by contacting the Travis County’s Fire Marshall’s Office at (512) 763-9686 Cell, (512) 854-4621 Main or via email at will.boettner@traviscountytx.gov. This assessment is free and confidential. While recommendations are made, you are under NO obligations to take any actions made from the recommendations. As this is focused on wildfire ignition zones to your home, this assessment looks at the outside of your home looking away and not fire risk inside your home.
    • ACTION: Develop and practice a “Ready-Set-Go” plan. In case you were informed to evacuate, know ahead of time which items you would take and which items you would leave behind. You should know evacuation route alternatives in case routes are blocked. Assume that cellular / mobile phone traffic will be overloaded and that you will not able to reach family or friends. Have a “default plan” or “default destination”. Keep phone usage time to a minimum.
    • ACTION: Sign up for local alerts through the WarnCentralTexas.org GET LOCAL ALERTS system. Signing up only takes five minutes. The type of alerts can include:
      • Community / General Notifications
      • Areal Flood Warnings
      • Flash Flood Warnings
      • Flood Warnings
      • Winter Storm Warnings
      • Hurricane Warnings
      • Tropical Storm Warnings
      • Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
      • Tornado Warnings
  2. Q: What should be included in a “Ready-Set-Go” plan?
    A: A typical “Ready-Set-Go” plan is based on planning and the combination of the priority of what you need to take versus available time.
    1. Make a prioritized list. Of course, your priorities will be different. Your plan should include an ordered priority, item location, and description. Here is an example of a prioritized plan:
      • Priority 0: If you are told by police, fire or EMS to immediately evacuate or your house is on fire consider that your personal belongings are not worth dying over. Get out.
      • Priority 1: READY TO GO IN 5 MINUTES
        • Get your car out of the garage.
        • Family pets (Do you know where the cat carrier or dog leashes are at moments notice?)
        • Life sustaining medications (blood pressure, insulin, seizure,,,)
        • Non-replaceable (or difficult to replace) paper documents and cash. Consider keeping scanned copies in a secure electronic password vault or bank lock-box. Consider that your documents should be stored in a 1-hour rated fire safe. You should be able to find or remember the combination EASILY.
        • Laptop computers (don’t forget the charging adapters and cables if you can access them quickly)
        • Back-up disk drives (or NAS disk drive systems) if you have them.
        • Mobile phones (and charging cables as time allows).
        • A single change of clothes, coat, etc.
      • Priority 2: READY TO GO IN 10 MINUTES
        • Photos (These should be boxed or in albums. This is not the time to sort pictures. Grab and load into your vehicle.)
        • Jewelry
        • Paper Records (such as decrees, wills, tax records not backed up electronically)
        • Tablet computers
      • Priority 3: READY TO GO IN 15 MINUTES
        • Sterling Silver / Flatware
        • Heirlooms
        • Pet Food
    2. Consider you (the person that the developed the plan) MAY NOT be at home when your neighborhood is evacuated. Make two copies. Have both copies with two pencils in a sealed envelop and placed in a location (top shelf china cabinet, master bedroom dresser, top-left book in family room bookshelf,,,) that is easily found by your spouse or trusted friend. Since you have two copies one person can be collecting items from upstairs while the other from downstairs.
    3. Make a practice run for your plans. Adjust your plan as necessary.
    4. Evacuate when told or use your best judgement on when it is time to leave. Do not expect that first responders will be able to respond to every 911 call. Further, in cases of broadly impacted areas, expect that 911 call centers may not be able to answer every phone call due to call volume, communication or infrastructure outages.
  3. Q: What is the Canyon Creek Firewise plan?
    A: Canyon Creek is surrounded on three sides by natural wooded area which presents a natural fire risk. To protect your own property and that of your neighbors, please review and comply with the Canyon Creek Firewise plan and resources.
  4. Q: Are Fireworks allowed in any part of the Canyon Creek neighborhood?
    A: No. The City of Austin has adopted an ordinance forbidding the storage, use, and handling of fireworks within the City of Austin. The Austin Fire Department has aggressively sought compliance with this ordinance. Canyon Creek (including the Community Center, Pool Area, Trailhead Park, and Greenbelt) is completely contained with the City of Austin and must comply with its ordinances.
  5. Q: Who do I call to report the Fireworks?
    A: Dial 311 to report the use of fireworks. Dial 911 in case of fire or any immediate risk to property damage. If you feel that anyone’s discharge of fireworks is causing an immediate risk to property or risk for a wildfire (i.e. roman candles near homes, wooded areas, vehicles,,,) please contact 911.

Additional Information

Page Edit History

  • 2020-03-23 (jmw): Page migrated to the WordPress platform
  • 2020-02-25 (jmw): Put new Q&A 1 at top to include references from Will Boettner presentation.
  • 2020-02-25 (jmw): Put new Q&A 2 at next to add a “Ready-Set-Go” template plan. Modify to make it yours.
  • 2020-02-25 (jmw): Updated Q&A 5 concerning wildfire risks.
  • 2020-02-06 (jmw): Page updated to include Additional Information reference to Fire Risk article