MCKINNEY, Texas (Oct. 19, 2015) – Reminiscent of 2011, wildland fires are ravaging the countryside in Bastrop County, east of Austin, having burned more than 4,500 acres and destroyed more than 60 homes to date.
In the past, wildland fires (more commonly referred to as grass or forest fires) were considered primarily a problem for rural areas. Wildland Urban Interface or WUI is not a common phrase; however, the WUI is significant to McKinney. Consider that between Aug. 1 and Oct. 19, 2015, the McKinney Fire Department (MFD) responded to 23 grass, brush and other vegetation fires. For the five year period 2011-2015 MFD responded to almost 400 such fires.
With the distance between urban, suburban, and rural areas narrowing, wildfires are a concern for everyone. Many homes, subdivisions and businesses lie within or near undeveloped areas of grass, brush, and forests – that area known as the WUI. As a result, nearly every wildfire carries an increased risk for damage or destruction of homes and other improved property – and even the loss of lives.
“The most important factor is for property owners to take responsibility for creating a fire safe zone around their property,” noted McKinney Fire Department spokeswoman Stacie Durham.
City of McKinney Fire Department Press Release