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Online wildfire hub aims to keep Austin resilient

Thursday, July 1, 2021 by Tai Moses

The Austin-Area Wildfire Hub, an online project of the Austin Fire Department’s Wildfire Division, describes itself as a “portal for information-sharing, cross-agency initiatives and grassroots coalition-building to prepare our community for wildfire. Because it’s not a matter of ‘if’ the next wildfire occurs, but ‘when.'” The hub contains information and resources on local fire danger and burn bans, fire-adapted and fire-wise communities, wildfire prevention, and the wildland-urban interface code (Austin is the first major city in the state of Texas to adopt the WUI code). But the most fascinating part of the wildfire hub is a live feed that monitors, via satellite, “thermal hotspots and fire activity” around the country in the last 48 hours. It’s shocking to see how many fires are actively burning out there, and seeing them on the map drives home the fact that we are all truly at risk. As the wildfire hub puts it, “Wildfire is everyone’s fight.”

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