Tue September 6, 2011
Bastrop Fire Grows to 30,000 Acres
A stubborn wildfire in Bastrop County has grown to almost 30,000 acres, and is zero percent contained. The blaze has already destroyed 476 buildings, despite the bold efforts of firefighters working to contain the inferno.
More than 20 neighborhoods have been evacuated. Fire crews are using these assets to combat the blaze.
- 47 fire engines
- 27 bull dozers
- 5 water tenders
- 4 helicopters
People who evacuate their homes are being asked to check in at one of these shelters, even if they don’t intend to stay there, so public safety officials can account for everyone. So far, 2,500 people have registered at these evacuation centers and 400 people are actually staying there, according to Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald.
- Bastrop Middle School
- Bastrop Ascension Catholic Church
- Bastrop Christian Outreach Center
- Smithville Indoor Recreation Center
- Elgin Family Worship Center
“In the centers, let’s come together and let’s be able to pray for those individuals and also provide support,” McDonald said at a morning briefing.
These road closures are among those in effect around the Bastrop County fire:
- Highway 71 East to 153 in Smithville
- Highway 21 East from Bastrop to 290
- Highway 20 West from Highway 535 to 1209
More than 4,000 households have no power as a result of 25 outages in the Bastrop area.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is also warning businesses in the area against price gouging.
“If there is any kind of taking advantage of these people by raising prices, […] that is something that could subject you to very stiff penalties,” Abbott said, saying his office would be monitoring pricing in the area.
The next press conference in Bastrop is scheduled for 4 p.m.