Raging Wildfire Chars Bastrop County
Highway 71 in Bastrop County is now open to traffic after Saturday’s raging wildfire skipped over the road and burned about 750 acres.
The fire started around 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Februrary 28. High gusty winds blowing up to 40 miles per hour is probably what started this fire. An electric pole was blown down and sparked the blaze.
Sandra Taylor with the Texas Forest Service said that 50 percent of the fire had been contained by 9:00 a.m. More than 20 homes, 13 out buildings such as barns, 4 vehicles, and several businesses have been lost. More than 100 home evacuations were made. Animal control rounded up livestock to safety.
Several fire agencies from the Round Rock Police Department, Elgin Fire, and even air support with two black hawk helicopters and two air tankers dropping fire retardant are helping put out the fire.
Thanks to high winds, this fire was very long and narrow making it harder to contain.
So far no civilian injuries have been reported. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.
Bastrop Commissioner Clara Beckett said a disaster declaration was sent to Governor Rick Perry Saturday around 3:30 p.m. This declaration comes only weeks after Bastrop County sent a letter to the Governor asking him to declare a state of emergency for the area because of the extreme drought conditions in Bastrop County.
Scroll down to hear personal accounts from evacuated residents and extra pictures.