1:30 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

Wimberley Fire May Have Been Caused By Outdoor Grill

Images of the fire taken by YNN's Russell Wilde.

In an area that is currently facing an extreme drought, "wildfire" is one of the last words you want to hear when you wake up on Friday morning. But that's exactly what happened today in Wimberley, a small town with a vibrant artistic community that is less than an hour's drive from Austin.

Read more
5:09 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Massive Mexican Wildfire Scorches 500,000 Acres

This satellite image, taken April 9, shows the extent of wildfires in Northern Mexico.
Photo by NASA Earth Observatory

As large wildfires in Texas grab most of the US media's attention, a large piece of sparely populated land is being scorched by flames in Northern Mexico.  The fires, named El Bonito and La Sabina, are among the largest in Mexican history. More than 493,827 acres have been scorched since mid-March, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports.

Read more
4:22 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Restaurant Hosts Fundraiser For Oak Hill Wildfire Victims

Jack Allen's Kitchen is hosting a fundraiser for Oak Hill residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by fire on Sunday.
Photo by Kenny Richter. Used with permission

People who lost property in a wildfire in the southwest Austin neighborhood of Oak Hill will get some help this weekend from Jack Allen's Kitchen. The restaurant is hosting a $20 appetizer buffet from 2 pm to 4 pm Saturday with all proceeds going to wildfire victims.

"It's just kind of a show of support, and a way for everyone to get together and mend a little bit," Jack Allen's Kitchen co-owner Tom Kamm told KUT News.

Read more
3:34 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Governor Perry Asks Texans to Pray for Rain

Governor Rick Perry has issued a proclamation for days of prayer for rain in Texas over this weekend.
Photo by Kenn Zuniga for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry is asking Texans to pray... a lot.

The Governor has proclaimed the next three days as “Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.”  He is asking all people of different kinds of faith and religion to offer prayers for rain.

Read more
12:12 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Texas Wildfire Chief: "We Are Making Successes"

Fire bosses say more humid weather will help them get a handle on blazes that have scorched over 1.4 million acres across Texas.
Photo by Official U.S. Air Force http://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/with/5638679968/

Media will receive a tour of wildfire scorched zones in the Possum Kingdom Lake area this afternoon, so we can expect to get a closer glimpse of the devastation this evening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that damper weather has helped prevent the wildfires from spreading more aggressively.

[O]vernight moisture, higher humidity and cooler temperatures temporarily lowered the danger of the fires further spreading, officials said.

Read more
news brief
5:54 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 21, 2011

Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday.
Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera, courtesy of the Texas Tribune.

Senate Committee to Take Up Budget

The Texas Senate Finance Committee will take up the state's budget and could vote on it today. The Senate's proposed cuts aren't as deep as those approved by the House.  KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, reports Chair Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, wants to include a measure to use $3 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget if additional revenue can't be found. Once the committee votes, the budget bill goes to the full senate.

Read more
3:21 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Feds Join Battle Against Possum Kingdom Wildfire

Wildfires burn out of control near Possum Kingdom Lake in this image from last Friday. The blaze has already destroyed more than 100 homes.
Photo by Texas Military Forces http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasmilitaryforces/

More than 600 homes are threatened in an area around Possum Kingdom Lake, about an hour west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, after four wildfires merged into one.

Read more
News Brief
5:25 am
Wed April 20, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 20, 2011

Flames destroy property near Possum Kingdom Lake. Texas National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters were launched out of the Austin Army Aviation Support Facility to help fight the wildfires in North Texas.
Photo by SSG Malcolm McClendon.

Wildfires Continue to Burn Near Fort Worth

Wildfires burning west of Fort Worth have destroyed nearly 150 homes and one church.  The Texas Forest Service says evacuations have been ordered near Possum Kingdom Lake, including the evacuation of a jail.  Two Texas Army National Guard Blackhawk Helicopters are among the resources being used.  These wildfires west of Fort Worth have burned nearly 150,000 acres.

Read more
News Brief
6:11 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 19, 2011

Devastation from the 100-acre fire in Oak Hill on Sunday.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Monitoring Oak Hill Hot Spots

The Austin Fire Department says eight firefighters are still in Oak Hill looking out for any hot spots from Sunday’s 100-acre blaze.  Firefighters worked overnight and officials say the fire is around 90 percent contained this morning.

Read more
News Brief
5:27 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 18, 2011

Helicopters dropped loads of water on Sunday's massive brush fire in Oak Hill.
Photo by Crystal Chavez for KUT News.

Suspect Charged in Oak Hill Fire

A suspect has been charged with arson and arrested in connection with yesterday's Oak Hill brush fire in the Scenic Brook neighborhood.  The suspect's bond was set at $50,000.  Austin Fire Department Lt. Randy Elmore told KUT this morning the suspect is a homeless man who was cooking eggs at a camp site.  Fire officials say he has been cooperative. 

Read more
Oak Hill
8:00 pm
Sun April 17, 2011

Oak Hill Brush Fire Threatens Homes

Smoke from the Oak Hill brush fire can be seen from the highway. Photo by KUT's Crystal Chavez.

8:30 p.m.  Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management have updated the list of areas that will remain evacuated overnightHere 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.

Read more
5:12 pm
Sun April 17, 2011

Perry Issues Disaster Declaration

Governor Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration Sunday, as wildfires char parts of Texas
Photo by Jim Reese for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry is asking President Obama for a major disaster declaration, as wildfires continue to scorch sections of Texas.

From a news release issued Sunday by Governor Perry's office:

"A Major Disaster Declaration makes the state eligible for response and recovery assistance from the federal government. Texas' request includes:

Read more
News Brief
5:51 am
Wed April 13, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 13, 2011

Scorched land in West Texas. The Texas Forest Service says wildfires have burned nearly 1 million acres across Texas since January.
Photo courtesy of Austin firefighter Jimmy Taylor.

Firefighters Containing Some Fires, New Ones Spreading

The Texas Forest Service told KUT this morning firefighters are making progress on some of the bigger wildfires in West Texas.  But the fire in the Fort Davis area is still not contained.  That fire has burned about 120,000  acres. The Forest Service says several new smaller fires also popped up yesterday in East Texas. The Austin Fire Department says Austin firefighters who’ve deployed to West Texas are mainly being assigned to protect structures such as homes, schools and businesses from the flames.

Read more
News Brief
6:11 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 11, 2011

A wildfire burning near Fort Davis in West Texas on Sunday afternoon.
Photo by Jim Reese for KUT News

West Texas Fire Knocks Out Marfa Public Radio

A fire in the Fort Davis area was responsible for knocking out nearby Marfa Public Radio’s signal this weekend.  The fire burned the power lines that feed the station's mountaintop transmitter.  KUT's digital technology manager, Jim Reese, was flown over to help.  He said Marfa Public Radio went back on the air around 6 p.m. Sunday.  "Marfa Public Radio is the only station [there] that has wide area coverage, so there were no media outlets at all functioning for about 24 hours," said Reese. 

Wildfires Rage Across Texas

Hot, dry and windy conditions kept firefighters across many parts of the state busy this weekend.  26 Central Texas firefighters deployed to West Texas Sunday to help battle the wildfires in that region.  One team was sent to Fort Davis.  The Texas Forest Service told KUT resources were also sent in from 25 states.  

Read more
1:12 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Massive Wildfire in West Texas Burns 50,000 Acres

Extreme fire is seen burning through thick fuel during the Highway 322 fire (Dimmit County) in March 2008.
Photo courtesy the Texas Forest Service

Officials are sending more resources to help battle a massive wildfire in West Texas that's already burned about 50,000 acres.

Read more
12:08 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Windy Conditions Heighten Fire Danger

Texas forestry officials warn that high winds and low humidity could make wildfires harder to control today.
Photo by KUT News

Breezy, dry conditions are setting up increased fire danger across Central Texas.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region through 4:00 p.m. today.

Sunday, windswept wildfires in West Texas scorched a total of 120,000 acres, destroyed at least 80 homes and resulted in the death of one person.

Read more
12:30 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Travis Commissioners Extend Burn Ban

A burn ban remains in effect in Travis County and several Central Texas counties to guard against wildfires, like last year's burn in Bastrop County (pictured).
Erika Aguilar/KUT

Cold weather, no matter.  Recent rain, no matter.  Conditions are still dry enough for Travis County Commissioners to extend the current outdoor burn ban another month.

According to a release from Travis County Fire Marshal Herschel Lee,

Read more
4:41 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

Wildfire Burning At Fort Hood Training Range

Fort Hood firefighters are working to put out an approximately 700-acre fire burning in a training range at the army post. It started around 2 p.m. today.  The fire is burning at the Dalton Mountain Training Range, in the north end of the post, and is currently moving south to the Lone Star Range. 

Read the press release from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, here.

Read more