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Steiner Ranch community looks back one year after devastating wildfire

Steiner Ranch community looks back one year after devastating wildfire

AUSTIN-- Dozens of Steiner Ranch residents stopped by an Open House at the Lake Travis Fire Department Tuesday, one year to the date of a devastating wildfire there.

The Open House was about more than justcoming by to meetthe men and women who fought the flames that fateful day.

I think in a way it may bring some closure to some folks to last year's events and in other ways provide a little healing to talk about some healing from last year, said Assistant Fire Chief John Durham with the Lake Travis F.D.

Last year, while many other Central Texas communities were battling wildfires Labor Day weekend, Steiner Ranch residents were forced to evacuate as out of control flames threatened everything in their path.

I think everyone recognizednow that wildfire is a part of the ecology out here in Western Travis County and it's not a matter of if, it is a matter of when we'll have another wildfire, said Durham.

Steiner Ranch residents like Nichelle Bielinski were given little warning before forced evacuations.Preparedness is one of the keywords emerging from the Steiner Ranch ashes.

A good lesson for all of us from my personal experience is to be prepared. Know where you're going to go. Know where your loved ones are going to meet you, Bielinski said.