Mon September 5, 2011
Central Texas Wildfires Update
Updated 10:00 a.m.
You can find the most up-to-date information on this post.
Firefighters continue to battle several wildfires in one of the worst wildfire emergencies Central Texas has ever seen.
Updated 8:39 a.m.
The Red Cross of Central Texas is coordinating the shelters at Bastrop Middle School (512) 321-3911 and the Smithville Recreation Center(512) 237-3282 x7. The Red Cross also has a shelter in north Austin at Vandegrift High School (512) 570-2300. The Red Cross expects more people to stay in shelters today as evacuations continue and damage assessments are done.
Updated 8:23 a.m.
The City of Austin’s Emergency Operations Center says 620 near Steiner Ranch in Northwest Austin is open. But Steiner Ranch and Quinlan Park Road off 620 are still shut down. Highway 71 remains closed at State Highway 95. Both the Steiner Ranch widlfire and the Bastrop wildfire remain uncontrolled according to the Texas Forest Service.
Updated 7:47 a.m.
For updated details and a list of the wildfires burning in Central Texas, visit the Texas Forest Service information page.
Updated 7:36 a.m.
There are spontaneous shelters opening up shelters in Central Texas but the Red Cross is assisting more than 300 people at three shelters. One is at Bastrop Middle School, another at the Smithville Recreation Center, and one at Vandegrift High School on McNeil Drive. Rochelle Olivares is a volunteer public information officer with the Red Cross of Central Texas. She told KUT that the Red Cross envisions the evacuations will continue today and the organization is moving to an elevated level of relief, meaning it's calling in help from across the state. Volunteers are assessing damage at homes in Bastrop and Travis Counties this morning and providing assistance to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed.
Updated: 7:17 a.m.
Despite the damage to hundreds of homes and burned thousands of acres in Central Texas from Steiner Ranch to Bastrop and beyond, officials say injuries from the outbreak of wildfires that began Sunday have been minimal and no human lives have been lost. High winds are expected again today, and the Central Texas region remains under a red flag warning. Officials are reminding people that any open flame outdoor poses a risk for turning uncontrollable quickly.
- Travis County evacuees can call (512) 974-6199 for the latest information
- Widespread power and gas outages are expected in areas where crews are still battling flames.
- The Texas Forest Service says teams will be doing damage assessments in Bastrop this morning.
- Officials are asking evacuees to check into shelters even if they aren't staying there so they can keep track of residents and get head counts.
- The largest fire is the fire in Bastrop County. As of midnight Sunday it was 14,000-acres and spreading. People are staying at five shelters in Bastrop-a few of them churches. Two firefighters and one resident were injured. One firefighter had smoke inhalation.
- The fire near the Steiner Ranch area is five to ten percent contained. An estimated 20 homes have been lost and at least 20 more have been damaged.
- The City of Austin says the fire near Perdenales has damaged about 500 acres and destroyed about 20 homes
- About 500 people Sunday night were asked to evacuate their homes in Hays County. This includes the Stagecoach Ranch Subdivision and a 3 mile surrounding radius.