Fire Report Says Homes Need Bigger Buffer
AUSTIN (AP) - Texas Forest Service officials say last year’s devastating Bastrop County wildfire has shown that the vegetation-free area around a home should extend beyond the long-accepted recommendation of 30 feet.
The Austin American Statesman reported Thursday that a study designed to help prepare for future wildfires found that 85 percent of homes consumed by the most destructive blaze in Texas history had a so-called defensible space of at least 30 feet.
Forest service researcher Karen Ridenour, author of the Bastrop Complex Wildfire Case Study, didn’t provide a specific recommendation, but noted that California state law requires a 100-foot radius that’s clear of vegetation.
The Bastrop wildfire that started on Labor Day weekend in 2011 burned 32,400 acres and destroyed 1,696 homes in Central Texas. Two people died.
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