You can find all the latest info on the fires as of Wednesday on this post.
Update at 7:15 p.m.
Here’s where we stand this evening:
The Bastrop Complex wildfire has claimed two lives, according to police. The blaze is now 34,000 acres and has destroyed 550 homes. Fire officials said they are making progress on the wildfire, but couldn’t yet say the level of containment. (Story)
More than 4,000 Bastrop residents are evacuated, and many are trying their best to learn whether or not their homes have been destroyed. (Story)
The Union Chapel fire, in the Bastrop County community of Cedar Creek, is 20 percent contained. It has scorched 900 acres and destroyed 27 homes. About 200 people are evacuated.
The Leander fire is mostly contained, but police are now looking for four teenagers whom they believe are responsible for it. Eleven homes were destroyed in the 300 acre fire. (Story)
Some Spicewood residents may be allowed back into their homes tomorrow. First, they have to pick up wrist bands and car signs at Bee Creek United Methodist Church. The Pedernales Bend fire, the one that forced their evacuation, is now 80 percent contained.
People who live in the Steiner Ranch subdivision were allowed back into their homes at noon. Power has been restored to about 90 percent of residents. But Lake Travis' fire chief says people should expect continued operations in the area for the next three to five days as crews work to snuff out remaining flames and embers.
The Texas Forest Service lost about a third of its regular operating budget last week, almost $35 million over two years. It was part of the state legislature’s sweeping budget cuts that attempted to balance spending without increasing taxes. (Story)
Governor Rick Perry held a news conference at Steiner Ranch this morning, and criticized the federal bureaucracy for being slow to respond to requests for heavy equipment from Fort Hood. (Story)
Fires can spread frighteningly fast in these ultra-dry conditions. Watch this video to see just how fast.
Governor Rick Perry may have left the presidential campaign trail to return to Texas yesterday, but in dealing with the wildfires, he couldn’t avoid one of the central themes of his campaign: the heft of the federal bureaucracy.
“One of the problems that we’ve historically had when we’re making requests for federal assets, and I’m talking about [the Department of Defense] in particular, is there’s just a lot of bureaucracy there,” Perry said in a news conference this morning at Steiner Ranch.
Wondering what you can do to help those affected by the fires in Central Texas? Make a donation of food, clothing or supplies to a nonprofit that will distribute donations to Central Texans affected by the recent fires.