Jester is a Nationally Recognized Firewise USA Community
Help Keep Jester Safe from Wildfire.
Jester is a beautiful neighborhood that sits high on a plateau overlooking the hills of West Austin, surrounded by the Balcones Canyonland Preserve. Living in the middle of a permanently dedicated forest habitat comes at a price with respect to wildfire safety, and to limit the risk of a wildfire impacting Jester, community leaders began a neighborhood-wide education and risk-mitigation program in 2013. That effort led to Jester earning national recognition as a Firewise Community, one of less than 1,000 such communities nationwide at the time. You'll see our Firewise Community street signs posted at neighborhood entrances to remind residents about the importance of this program.
In cooperation with the Austin Fire Department, our Firewise Committee has conducted more than 100 voluntary “home ignition zone” inspections for homeowners, and over 200 homes have participated in our “30-feet for Fire Safety” events. That’s pretty impressive for a community with a total of about 900 homes, but we are always looking to improve!
EVERY home in Jester, not just those along the canyon, has a wildfire exposure risk because burning embers from a wildfire often fly far from the actual fire, igniting homes and starting new fires. The biggest risk to our neighborhood is ember ignitions that lead to homes burning and home-to-home fire spread, NOT a wall of fire coming up from the canyon.
A few simple steps and a little effort on your part can dramatically reduce the risk of a wildfire impacting your home, and that’s what our Firewise Committee is all about…teaching homeowners how to protect their property, coordinating community wildfire safety events, and working as a liaison with the Austin Fire Department and the Texas A&M Forest Service to promote wildfire safety. See the links on the opposite side of this page for more information or to request a Home Ignition Zone evaluation by a qualified neighbor or AFD representative.
In addition to improving safety for the community, the Firewise program has also produced a tangible benefit to homeowners who insure with USAA. USAA now offers a specific discount on homeowners’ policies written for properties in Firewise communities in Texas and three other states. Our Firewise Community status also qualifies Jester to receive a significant contribution of resources from the City of Austin and the Austin Fire Department to conduct brush clearing in the preserve surrounding Jester.
To maintain our Firewise Community certification and keep our program going, the Jester Firewise Committee regularly needs new volunteers to replace former members as people relocate out of the neighborhood. Unless we get new volunteers to help keep the program going, our Firewise certification could expire at the end of each year and the program could be discontinued. Are you willing to do something that REALLY benefits your community? Contact the Firewise Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
For more information about Firewise Communities and how to protect your home, checkout http://www.firewise.org/