KXAN’s Reagan Hackleman reported live from Zilker Park again last night during the evening news with a story about preparations by Austin Fire Deparment for the crowds expected for the Austin City Limits Festival that runs today through Sunday.

Our own Neighborhood Watch chairman John Luther was interviewed and included in the story, describing actions residents of Barton Hills are taking to heighten awareness of the fire danger. Luther said “The fire danger is extreme The greenbelt is rugged. It would difficult to get fire equipment in there, if not impossible.”

City officials held a press conference Thursday morning at Zilker Park where Austin Police Lt. Todd Smith stated “This is about the most dangerous place in Austin where a fire could start and it could really cause a lot of damage.” Fire Department Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr said ,”Yes we are concerned. Yes we are prepared. We’re staffing up additional brush trucks.”

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The Barton Hills Neighborhood Association issued a press release Sept. 15 describing the campaign to inform visitors attending the Austin City Limits Music Festival about the extreme fire danger in our community. In addition to placing signs at strategic entry points to the greenbelt and throughout the neighborhood, residents will be on high alert for any evidence of fire and have been instructed to call 911 in the event smoke is seen or smelled.

BHNA Vice President Melissa Hawthorne stated “We are very pleased with the cooperation demonstrated by the ACL Festival producers, C3 Presents, Austin Parks and Recreation, Austin’s first responders and local media to elevate this issue and help enforce the burn ban in the park. We want to insure people understand the extremely dry conditions and the affect a fire would have to our community.”

You can read the entire press release here.

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ACL Festival

Neighbors, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is September 16th through the 18th.  More information on the festival itself can be found at aclfestival.com

Roads leading into the park area will close at midnight on Thursday, September 15, 2011 and reopen midnight on Sunday, September 18. Road closures will be as follows:

  • Barton Springs Road at Robert E. Lee (Barton Springs Pool Parking accessible at Robert E. Lee Entrance)
  • MoPac Frontage at Columbus Drive (No travel allowed into Zilker Park or Barton Springs Pool from this road)
  • Stratford Drive at Nature Center Drive

We really need your help this year.  Please keep an eye out so we can have a safe, but happy time.

For issues related to cars blocking driveways, fire hydrants, too close to intersections:  Phone the ACL Command Center 646-2244.  It is manned by City Personnel with direct access to the Dedicated Neighborhood ROVING Patrol of 6 officers and 1 sergeant, roving 10 am until approximately 11 pm daily. This dedicated unit will be roving and responding to issues/concerns throughout the impacted neighborhoods.

If you have an emergency please call 911.

Thanks As Always,


Melissa Hawthorne
Vice President, Barton Hills Neighborhood Association

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