Sun April 17, 2011
Oak Hill Brush Fire Threatens Homes
8:30 p.m. Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management have updated the list of areas that will remain evacuated overnight. Here is a map of the affected area. Austin Community College says classes will run on normal schedule at the Pinnacle campus, located near the area of today's brush fire.
7:00 p.m.: Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell briefed reporters on the status of the fire and how the city is helping the 50 or so people who he says were voluntarily evacuated. Residents in the evacuation zone can call Emergency Management at 974-6199 (note the new number) to find out when they might be able to return home. Austin Fire officials say that recorded information will be updated every half-hour or so.
6:30 p.m.: KUT’s Matt Largey reports that Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr confirm a dozen homes destroyed in the blaze near Oak Hill. Dozens of acres have been burned. The fire is about 90 percent contained. No injuries reported and no estimate as to when people in the more than 400 homes evacuated because of the blaze will be allowed to go home. People under that evacuation order can call (512) 974-0639 for updates as to when they might be permitted back into the area.
6:00 p.m.: The City of Austin's Emergency Operations Center confirms that six homes have been damaged by fire in the Oak Hill area. 450 homes have been evacuated in the area. C-130 airplanes from the Texas Forest Service are assisting the ground attack to contain the fire.
4:55 p.m.: As many a five homes have been burned in the wildfire menacing at least one subdivision in the Oak Hill area. 20 others have reportedly been damaged, as firefighters try to contain the flames near the Scenic Brook subdivision. No injuries have been reported thus far. The Texas Forest Service is making two C-130 airplanes available for fire retardant drops, to augment the ground attack on the fire and helicopters continue to make fire retardant drops.
4:20 p.m.: Homes in the Scenic Brook subdivision are being evacuated, as a quick moving brush fire threatens that section of the Oak Hill area. Helicopters are being brought in to make fire retardant drops on the blaze that broke out earlier this afternoon. Police have shut down the the US 290/State Highway 71 "Y" at the 7400 block of West US 290.
EARLIER:People are being asked to avoid the Oak Hill area near the "Y" in southwest Austin. Firefighters are trying to get a handle on a brush fire that started earlier this afternoon. One home has already caught fire a result of the blaze and others are being threatened by the flames, which is bringing more firefighters onto the scene.
Black smoke can be seen from several miles away. KUT's Crystal Chavez, who is on her way to the scene, says traffic is heavy in the Hwy 290 and William Cannon area. She reports Austin police are knocking on doors asking people to evacuate.