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    Wildfire Safety

    Goldenwood Wildfire Evacuation and Safety Plan

    Please note that it is very dangerous to be under high voltage lines when thick smoke in the air. The particulates in the smoke facilitate the electrical current arching to ground and people and equipment under power lines can be a point of ground for arch.

     

    Discussion of Wildland Fire Safety at 2013 Goldenwood Owners’ Meeting May 21, 2013

    7:55 pm – Presentation by Chief Larry Marcum of North Hays County Fire Department.

    Owner Marjory Gentsch kindly arranged for North Hays County Fire Chief Larry Marcum (512-944-4849 cel) and Driftwood Fire Chief Bill Coffman (512-247-8237 cel) to speak to the neighborhood about wild fire risk reduction. Chief Marcum discussed risks of wild fire at the urban-wildland interface, which is how Goldenwood and most of RR-1826 corridor is classified (urban-wildland interface). The risks associated with Goldenwood that need to be mitigated are:

    –        One road in and out;

    –        Only one hydrant in neighborhood at end of Shantivana Trail cul de sac, (This hydrant is part of the Radiance Community central water system. The public supply well for this system is also at the end of the Shantivana Trail cul de sac.)

    –        2 acres and larger lots with great deal dead wood and grass fuel and flammable cedar trees;

    –        Piles of unburned brush are dangerous fire fuel;

    –        Steep topography in places.

    –        No community fire safety plan.

     

    The Chief advised us to:

    –        clear trees within 30-feet of house;

    –        clear cedars back from sides of road because driving through tunnel of flames is intimidating at best;

    –        keep leaves out of gutters;

    –        limb cedars and other trees up 3 x height of grasses and plants growing under them;

    –        minimize opportunity for sparks to blow into your attic.

    –        Create map of pools and rainwater storage in neighborhood and share this with fire department;

    –        Possibly create water pond under Crystal Hills entrance bridge that could also serve as water reservoir during fire;

    –        Rain water tanks should be fitted with male 2 ½” national hose thread connection if we want fire department to be able to connect to use water in tanks.

    –        Arrange for an emergency exit out back or side of subdivision;

    –        Create a “Wildfire Evacuation and Safety Plan” modeled after Heritage Oak’s subdivision’s plan. A single sheet printed on both sides.

     

    The Chief provided handouts including but not limited to:

    –        http://www.firewise.org/ = Recommended web resource.

    –        http://www.firewise.org/information/brochures-and-booklets.aspx

    –        Heritage Oaks Wildfire Evacuation and Safety Plan; See Goldenwood Wildfire Evacuation and Safety Plan;

    –        Ready, Set, Go, Your personal wildland fire action guide, North Hays County Fire;

    –        Rules for outdoor burning-Hays County Fire Marshall;

    –        National Fire Wise Program on DVD (I think Gareth Pollard may have received?);

    Additional copies of these documents can be obtained from the North Hays Fire Department administrative personnel in Dripping Springs by calling 512-894-0704.

     

    During the Chief’s presentation a sign up sheet circulated of folks that wanted to be on a fire safety committee to work towards creating the Wildfire Evacuation and Safety Plan and implementing the other recommendation of the Chiefs. Those that signed up included:

     

    Marjory Gentsch;John Russell & Allison Massey;Debron & Suzanne Duncan;David & Donna Freidenfeld;

    Mark & Judy Gardner;

    Cisco & Karen Hobbs;Phillip & Yvette La Pee;John M & Kathy Morgan;Gareth Pollard;

    Andrew Backus;

     

    The Chief volunteered to return and educate or train us any time.

     

    Chinese Lantern Fire Risk

    Bonnie Tull spoke about wild fire danger of Chinese lanterns (balloons that float as a result of lit candle power). Three of these balloons landed on the Tull’s property that probably were released by a wedding party at the Chapel Dulcinea Wedding Chapel facility. Bonnie has contacted the Fire Department about this matter and multiple wedding facilities in the area. Bonnie asked for support from the neighborhood in asking the County to outlaw these wildfire starters. Backus thought this was a good idea but uphill battle in a County that permits the sale and use of fireworks even when Travis County is prohibiting their use due to fire risk.

     

    8:30 pm – Backus thanked Fire Department representatives and Bonnie Tull.