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Old 09-05-2011, 07:44 AM   #1
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Central Texas Fires and Bastrop State Park

Many of you might have seen that Central Texas, along with other parts of the state, is having a rash of wild fires. The combination of winds kicking up from the tropical storms and our extreme drought conditions is making is difficult or impossible for fire crews to get the fires under control.

One of the places that has been severely damaged is Bastrop State Park and it was evacuated yesterday (video at link):
Half of Bastrop State Park burned | kvue.com Austin

Here is a YouTube video that a driver shot that shows the magnitude of the fires:
Fires in Bastrop

I also heard on the news that there are fires out near Pace Bend and Pedernales but haven't heard how close they are to the parks.

Here is a map of the fire activity in Central Texas:
Fire Activity

Of course, many folks in the state have lost homes and there is a lot of tragedy around these fires. As of yet, nobody is reporting any deaths so it seems the evacuations are effective.

Lynn
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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Mu unit had an informal weekend no-host camp out in Bastrop SP. Apparently all of our folks are OK. One couple was away from the park at the time and will have to retrieve their rig later.

For once, I did not sign up for the camp out since we will be leaving in just a few days for TAHI in east Texas, near Lufkin. Hopefully, things will be a bit greener there.

We are sitting on a tinderbox in our neighborhood with several large fires in the county (Hays) right now. There is a suspicion that many of the fires in this county are arson since a number started almost simultaneously not far apart near Dripping Springs.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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It may be because of the holiday, but none of the fires here in Hays County appear on the TAMU map that was linked in the Original post. For instance, Stagecoach Ranch, north of Dripping Springs was evacuated last evening and there are major fires near Bell Springs Road. None shown on the TAMU map.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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We were at Bastrop SP in mid-June and it was already very, very dry, so one can only imagine how quickly the flames spread given the amount of dry fuel available. Our condolences to all who have lost their homes in this fire.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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I just read on another forum 400 homes lost in the Bastrop area. Sure hope that's not right.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Unfortunately, there have been fatalities

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcurrie;
Of course, many folks in the state have lost homes and there is a lot of tragedy around these fires. As of yet, nobody is reporting any deaths so it seems the evacuations are effective.

Lynn
News reports are talking about a woman and a child killed in East Texas--don't remember exactly where. Evidently, they failed to get out of a house that became involved in one of the wildfires.

Stuff is just stuff. If you're asked to evacuate, just run!
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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I just read on another forum 400 homes lost in the Bastrop area. Sure hope that's not right.
They are still saying 400 homes burned. I suspect most of them are in the area just west of highway 21 going northeast out of Bastrop. The satellite view shows lots of streets in that area and the whole area is filled with a solid growth of pine trees that burn fast and hot. For those not familiar with the area, it is called the "Lost Pines area " because it is the only place within many miles with a heavy growth of pine trees. Pines are rare in central Texas.

I just had an email from the couple who had to leave their rig in Bastrop State Park. It is OK and they have retrieved it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Current info

Updated: Monday, 05 Sep 2011, 3:07 PM CDT

Just as firefighters are stretched so thin amid uncontrollable fires throughout the Central Texas area, another in Bastrop has sprung up. Bastrop is already battling a blaze that has destroyed about 300 homes and charred about 14,000 acres -- with a fire that is 16 miles long and six miles wide. The wind-fueled fires throughout Central Texas have displaced some 6,000 residents, and officials said there was no telling when they could expect to return. And nearly every public safety entity in the region is stretched nearly to it's limits.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #9
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We will be heading from Austin to TAHI (Texas Airstream Harbor Inc.) on Thursday and our route is right down highway 21, right past where the video in the original post was taken. I'm sure that there will be nothing combustible there to worry about 3 days from now.

OTOH, the Spicewood fire is now stretching almost to Dripping Springs and that is where I store my Airstream. It is still a fair distance away and north of town, but the winds are gusting. Fortunately, the wind is currently away from the storage yard. I'm watching that situation carefully in case I have to get the trailer out of there.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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It's on fire here all around me with the closest one about a mile away (but moving away from me). The winds have finally abated and today the firefighters will have their first reasonable chance at bringing these fires under control. Bastrop State Park is 60% burnt and that's a shame because it was a really nice place for recreation.

It's difficult to get any real information about the fires, no doubt because the fire control authorities are taxed to the max right now, and instead we just get a bunch of "If a fire is suspected, get out now ... now back to you Natalie ..." hot air. There are at least 4 major fires burning around Austin right now.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:56 AM   #11
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We woke up yesterday to the smell of charring/smoldering wood . . . a very long way aways. Shows how much smoke is in the air.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #12
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So sorry for Bastrop....I have loved that place for many years. I live in the Cross Timbers above Dallas and Ft. Worth. It would be an absolute catastrophe if this area is burnt. All the cedars are cleared away from buildings and the oaks are trimmed high. Hoses connected to all hydrants on the Ranch. All it takes is an idiot with a cigarette butt, or a careless BBQ outside...and its out of control.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #13
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The authorities have announced here that one of the fires (the one nearest Lake Travis) was caused by power wires shorting together in the high winds on Sunday. It's so desperately dry here that it doesn't take much to start a big fire - I've been sweating it all summer long.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:07 PM   #14
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They are guessing 600 homes lost. Nearly 500 confirmed as of last night and a bunch more this morning. There are 4 helicopters working. They have called on the Guard at Camp Mabry to bring in more dozers and graders to build firelines.
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