About the Author
Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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City, County adopt new wildfire plan
Both the City of Austin and Travis County adopted the Community Wildfire Protection Plan last week. The plan is the culmination of a joint effort between the city and county, along with state and federal officials. Following the devastating Bastrop wildfires in 2011, a Joint Wildfire Task Force was formed to study ways to prevent future disasters as well as develop a coordinated plan to deal with wildfire. Officials say the plan will link multiple agencies, including firefighters, emergency responders, mitigation and prevention managers, planners and others, to coordinate the plan. “This is all about wildfire,” said Danny Hobby, Travis County executive for emergency services. “It’s a resource document for communities across the county to utilize. This particular plan is not something that’s enforcement; it’s something that is best practices.” The plan was developed in coordination with Travis County’s Emergency Services and Transportation and Naturals Resources, Austin’s Fire Department Wildfire Division, Water Utility Wildlands Division and Homeland Security and Emergency Management office. Others participating include Emergency Services Districts 4 and 6, the Texas Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public input sessions were held in numerous parts of the county in developing the plan. An adoption ceremony with city, county and state officials is planned for Nov. 14.
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