Not long after firefighters extinguished the last embers of the devastating 2011 Central Texas wildfires, Austin officials asked a question that could have come out of a climate-change symposium: What if those kind of fires are becogming more likely?
“One of the aspects we were talking about was that, while none of us in the Austin Fire Department are meteorologists, we knew it’s been consistently hotter and drier” in recent years, Assistant Fire Chief Harry Evans said. “The new normal has changed … and that raises the level of the threat we need to prepare for.”
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story online incorrectly stated the source of irrigation water in Guerrero Park. It is reclaimed water, which is treated effluent from sewage plants.