LTFR responds to 8 grass fires in July 

This July 6 grass fire was off RM 620 near 4300 Mansfield Dam Rd. ERIN SEITZLER

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Lake Travis Fire Rescue has responded to eight vegetation/grass/brush fires since July 1 including one last week near Mansfield Dam that burned approximately one acre around 5 p.m. on July 6.

“Hot and dry conditions in the area have increased our risk of wildland fires,” said Lake Travis Fire Rescue Fire Chief Robert Abbott.

Tony Hall posted on Nextdoor about the fire near Mansfield Dam: “I was outside when I heard the boom and it actually had me jump, and I looked up, but didn’t see it light up in the air. I saw a lot of smoke, and then it got more and more and I realized someone had intentionally shot it in the grass. I saw a red car drive off about 30 seconds later from the area and the fire grew shockingly fast. Within about two minutes, ash was falling.. that’s how fast it spread and grew.” 

Hall added that the fire got to within about 20 or so yards of the fence line of their new condo community. “Very unfortunate, but thank goodness for the speedy response of the fire department,” Hall posted.

Lake Travis Fire Rescue was on the scene quickly and took about an hour to extinguish the fire. LTFR could not confirm that it was started by a firework. 

But fireworks were to blame for some of the grass fires reported so far in July. No injuries have been reported and no property damage of houses, businesses or cars have been reported, shared Rachel Neutzler, LTFR director of communications.

Grass/brush fires LTFR responded to July 1 – July 11:  

July 3 

Serene Hills Dr, Lakeway

Call time: 20:13

Approximately 1/4 acre

Cause: Fireworks

July 4  

7100 block of Poulain Dr., Austin 

Call Time: 18:30 

Approximately 1/4 acre

Cause: Possible fireworks

7500 block of Provence Blvd, Austin 

Call time: 21:34

Small area, bypasser extinguished prior to FD arrival

Cause: Possible fireworks

11200 Bee Cave Rd, Austin

Call time: 21:53

Approximately 50 x 50

Cause: Fireworks

2000 block of N. Pace Bend Rd, Spicewood 

Call time: 22:16

No info on size 

Cause: No information

Mutual aid fire with Pedernales

July 5  

12600 block of Country Trails Ln., Austin

Call time: 1:02

Approximately 3 feet by 20 feet

Cause: Undetermined

2900 block of N. FM 620 Rd., Austin  

Call time: 6:57

Approximately 1 foot x 1 foot patch of mulch

Cause: Undetermined

July 6  

4200 block of Mansfield Dam Rd., Austin 

Call time: 17:01

Approximately 1 acre 

Cause: Undetermined

July 7  

1000 S. FM 620 Rd., Lakeway 

Call time: 9:41

Approximately 8 feet x 3 feet

Cause: Undetermined

July 9 — 1 

11000 block of FM 2244

Call time: 15:52

Approximately 1 acre

Cause: No information

Mutual aid fire with Ce-Bar

Safety tips

Half of all wildfires in Texas come from two human causes: debris burning and equipment use. Travis County is under a burn ban to help prevent grass fires.

“Light flashy fuels such as grasses are extremely dry, which means one small spark could start a grass fire,” Abbott said. “We encourage everyone to do their part and help prevent grass fires by disposing of cigarettes properly, keeping running vehicles off dry grass, and maintaining your equipment and vehicles.”  

Never park a car where flammable, such as grass, are touching the catalytic converter.

Do not throw out cigarettes into vegetation, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, mulch, leaves, or other similar items—they can easily catch fire.

Avoid using lawn equipment on hot, dry, windy days.

Make sure your vehicle’s tailpipe or towing chain does not drag or cause sparks.

Be mindful of the condition of your vehicle’s tires. Underinflated or flat tires can cause the metal rim to contact the roadway and send sparks into nearby dry grass, causing a wildfire.

What can you do for your home:

To prevent home ignitions from wildfire, start with the exterior of your home. Roofs can catch embers. Regularly clear debris from roof valleys and gutters.

Remove anything that can burn from around your home, deck, porch, or patio out to a minimum of 5 feet. This includes mulch, dead leaves or pine needles, shrubs or other plants, wood piles, and material for construction projects.

Remove tree or shrub branches that overhang within 10 feet of your house, roof or chimney.

Lake Travis Fire Rescue is part of Travis County Emergency Services District #6.