wildfires
11:54 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Bastrop County Fire’s Growth Slows

Update at 12:45 p.m.: Bastrop County's Office of Emergency Management reports on their Facebook page that the Old Potato Road fire apparently hasn't burned as much land as earlier thought.

County officials quote the Texas Forest Service, saying the fire has only consumed 315 acres.  Earlier estimates had the fire consuming 1,000 acres.

The fire is now listed as 50 percent contained. 

Earlier: More than 100 firefighters working on a 1,000 acre blaze in Bastrop County have the wildfire 25 percent contained, unchanged from last night. But the size of the fire has not grown significantly since yesterday evening.

“They got a lot of good work on it last night,” Texas Forest Service spokesman John Nichols said. About 30 homes were evacuated, but no homes were damaged and there are no reports of any injuries.

Nichols said a second “hot shot” crew showed up to work this morning, adding another twenty elite firefighters who are trained together and work year-round as a team combating wildfires.

The blaze broke out yesterday at the Griffith League Scout Ranch at Oak Hill Cemetery Road near FM 2336 and spread quickly. But an aggressive response from firefighting airplanes helped slow its rapid growth. A DC-10 air tanker and two C-130 Hercules aircraft were among the assets deployed.

Today, two heavy air tankers are being sent from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to conduct fire retardant drops. Helicopters are also available to drop water drawn from Lake Bastrop.

The county is still recovering from a massive 34,000 acre wildfire that was sparked exactly one month to the day before the new blaze, labeled the Old Potato Fire, broke out yesterday.

Coincidentally, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials yesterday reopened Buescher State Park in Bastrop County, an area that dodged the devastation wrought by last month’s inferno. Here’s their video inviting people back: