Firefighters say had these fires been set on a day with slightly different weather conditions, they would've been catastrophic. Thursday morning and into the afternoon reports came in of multiple fires along the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
The Austin Fire Department released this drone video courtesy of Preston Culver.
It shows just how close some of the plumes of smoke were to homes.
On Friday, Wildlife Division Captain Josh Anderson went back out to map the fires.
"They seem to be spread out a quarter mile half mile between each one,” said Anderson.
Daniel Daugherty was arrested for setting what is believed to be around a dozen of them from the 360 access point to Barton Springs.
"From a large picture standpoint, there was the potential for catastrophic fire in this greenbelt. As in anywhere in Austin. We are at a high risk for wildfires in Central Texas. Austin is the third most at risk city in wildfire loss. That was in the backs of our minds as we responded to this incident,” said Daugherty.
Anderson says he was out until 10 p.m. making sure all flames were extinguished.
He says it was a difficult task, especially when it came to access. Firefighters had to hike by foot.
"We definitely recognize that there is a need for more work in this area, whether it's specialized fire mapping, additional training or even access points,” said Anderson.
Anderson says his wildfire division team does not train along the greenbelt given the sensitive nature of the area, endangered species and watershed rules. However, he will look to change that.
"We'll be working with parks and recreation department who manage this to kind of look at what options are available to us to make access whether it's fire breaks, fire roads we also know this is something that will be an ongoing issue. it will take time and energy and backing by the tax payers. This is a project that we're fighting for,” said Anderson.