wildfires
10:24 pm
Sun September 11, 2011

Bastrop Fire 50 Percent Contained, 1,554 Homes Destroyed

Update at 4:47 p.m.

Bastrop County has published its re-entry plan online. The map shows when people will be sent back to their homes through Thursday. You can view the PDF here

The county has also released the list of 17 people they say did not register with emergency shelters. Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering emphasized that just because these people are unaccounted for, they are not being treated as missing persons. 

Here is the list of names:

  • Lindsey Walker               
  • Arlene Paige            
  • Lynn Conner            
  • Barbara Bunklage          
  • Nancy and Ronnie Austead        
  • Ted and Loraine Regan        
  • Steve Ingram
  • Joyce O’Grady
  • Kim  Johns
  • Gaylon Sampson
  • Dorothy Dylan
  • Mark and Ethel Ehato
  • Cheyene Smith
  • Chris Van Bibber
  • Lynn McGarrahan
  • Bo and Ray Shelton
  • Frank and Elizabeth Evans

Those people can call 512-332-8813 or 512-332-8856 to check in. Other information: List of local drop off locations for donations. Here are pictures of some of the lost animals being housed at the Austin Humane Society.  AHS is requesting donations of these supplies. 
Amid the Bastrop tragedy, one couple found time to wed, KXAN reports.  

Earlier: As much of the United States reflects on the coordinated suicide attacks that jarred the country ten years ago, people in Bastrop are still dealing with their own immediate tragedy. The parallels were not lost on people during a morning news conference today at the Bastrop Convention Center.

“Most of America today is rightfully concerned today with an indelible scar that was left on our country by 9/11,” Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) said. “In Bastrop County, we’ve got a scar of a different kind. From nature, fortunately not as extreme a loss of life, but with every bit the same spirit and courage that was demonstrated after 9/11.”

Progress continues to be made on the 34,000-acre wildfire. The blaze is now 50 percent contained.

“We’re gaining ground every hour,” Bastrop County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher said.

Fisher said, however, that the number of homes they now estimate to be completely destroyed has increased from 1,386 to 1,554. The number is expected to rise further. The county is maintaining a list on its website of homes that have been confirmed to be destroyed.

The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management is posting the latest re-entry plan maps at the local convention center. In a Tweet, the office said it would make those maps available on the county website as soon as possible after this morning’s press briefing.

Seventeen people have not checked into emergency shelters to confirm they are safe. Public safety officials posted a list of those names at the Bastrop Convention Center, and asked those people to confirm if they are unharmed.

Aqua Water Supply crews are disinfecting a water system today, will take lab samples tomorrow, and hope to lift a boil water order for the remaining parts of their Bastrop service area on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Bluebonnet Electric crews are “90 to 100 percent” done with their damage assessment, CEO Mark Rose said. He said they are working to restore 313 miles of utility lines, and will open an overnight wood chipping operation off Highway 21 to process large amounts of wooden debris they must remove. He said that would mean a significant number of 18-wheelers on Highway 21.

Aqua Water Supply Corporation’s general manager, Bill Loven, urged people to wear proper respiratory protection if they are sifting through the ashes of their home. He reminded people how many 9/11 first responders contracted cancer from breathing in large amounts of ash.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is opening a disaster recovery intake center at 104 Loop 150 West, less than a mile from the Bastrop Convention Center. The temporary facility will be staffed with FEMA representatives to help people register for federal aid.

Bastrop and Smithville Independent School Districts still plan to reopen on Monday. All students will be provided free breakfast and lunch, regardless of whether they qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program.

Other information:

Want to help? Here are three local drop-off locations and a list of things you can contribute.

This is a list of the social media resources used to communicate information related to the Central Texas wildfires.

Here is a list of animal resources for Central Texas fire evacuees, including galleries of lost and found pets, and ways you can help.

Digital Texan posted these dramatic images of Texas National Guard troops battling the fires on the front lines.

This new satellite image shows the extent of the damage, courtesy Austin American-Statesman.

Check out this video from the Red Cross of their relief efforts in Bastrop. 

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