I posted this originally in Texas Heathens -- but thought it would be important enough to post here as well.
Texas in undergoing several fires at the moment. Some not too far from where I live.
Bastrop is 30 miles from Austin. Here are just a few news articles on the fires.
Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by strong gusts of wind spawned by Tropical Storm Lee as it moved north, burned across Texas on Monday, destroying homes and leaving at least two people dead, authorities said.
Meanwhile, another 400 acre fire was reported near the Hays-Travis County line. The blaze crossed into Hays County shortly after 6:00 p.m. Sunday. All residents in that area being evacuated with the assistance of Hays County Sheriff's deputies. These roads include Stagecoach Ranch Road, Overland Stage road, Deadwood stage Road, Stagecoach Ranch Loop, and Cripple Creek Stage Road.
A Bastrop fire caused several people to be evacuated. People in the areas of Wilderness Ridge, parts of Cedar Creek and Alum Creek are being asked to leave. The fire is near FM 1441 and Highway 21.
A new fire on Griffin League Ranch is moving south and will join with the wildfire. A mandatory evacuation has been issued for all circle D County -- all homes on Schwantz Ranch Road, Old Potato Road and all Highway 21 homes east to Paige.
14,000 acres burned in Bastrop. More than 300 homes lost, and there's still no containment.
Is anyone here being affected by the fires?
Bastrop has closed schools tomorrow and possibly longer.
Larger Bastrop fire now 30% contained Newsroom
The largest fire in Central Texas, ripping through Bastrop, is now 30 percent contained as of 7:40 a.m. Wednesday. The Southern Area Type 1 Red Team will be in place in Bastrop County early Wednesday morning, and they will have access to firefighting experts from across country. They will be able to plan better attacks on the fires that continue to destroy homes and lives. Two people have died while two fires continue to burn on either side of the city of Bastrop.
Bastrop complex fire
The biggest fire is just east of the city, which has consumed 38,089 acres and destroyed 576 homes. It is 30 percent contained.
Union Chapel fire
The smaller fire, to the west of Bastrop and called the Union Chapel fire, has consumed about 800 acres and destroyed 28 homes. Some 150 homes are threatened, and 200 people have been evacuated. That fire is only 20 percent contained.
Texas Forest Service http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/main/default.aspx
Bastrop County http://www.co.bastrop.tx.us/site/content/emoverviewMandatory
Travis County http://www.co.travis.tx.us/emergency_services/emergency_management.asp
Hays County http://www.co.hays.tx.us/index.php/government/emergency-management/
Evacuations; Update on Bastrop, Steiner Ranch, Spicewood and Leander Fires; General Information Bastrop - Mandatory Evacuations
The Steiner Ranch area is now open to residents with a legal ID only. A preliminary investigation has determined that overhead electric power lines caused the Steiner Ranch fire.
The American Red Cross is taking donations to help all the people who lost their homes. Here is the website:
“We are so thankful for the Red Cross resources, volunteers and staff deployed from all over Texas to help us be there for our neighbors in need,” says Regional CEO Marty McKellips. “We expect this response to continue into the coming weeks, and wouldn’t be able to support our neighbors without the work of our volunteers and assistance from around the state.”
Devastating wildfires have scorched thousands of acres from the Rio Grande to the Red River, leaving hundreds of homes in ashes and thousands of people wondering what to do next. In Central Texas close to 30,000 acres have been lost to fire and at least 500 homes.
The American Red Cross responded immediately by opening safe shelters, providing daily meals and giving a lot of emotional support. “Some of our staff and volunteers are directly affected by these fires, so we really understand what our community is going through,” says McKellips.
An up-to-date list of open shelters and resources for evacuees, information about volunteering, and opportunities to donate remain available at www.centex.redcross.org.
You can help turn heartbreak into hope by making a gift to the Red Cross. If you have not been impacted by a disaster this year, text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to the Disaster Relief Fund, or go to www.redcross.org to give even more.
The American Red Cross responds to 70,000 disasters across the country annually, and depends on the support of the American people to be there.
Central Texans who wish to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross of Central Texas can call 800 or 512-928-4271, send a financial contribution to 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, 78723 or make a secure online donation at www.centex.redcross.org. For information on Red Cross services or volunteer opportunities please call 800 or 512-928-4271 or visit www.centex.redcross.org.
Thanks for asking! : )
Bastrop is about 25 miles from me -- however, the fire is still not contained.
The news is reporting 30% of the fire has been contained so far.
Here are some other links on video that you can see from Austin, TX. You can see the glow of the fires around the city and the smoke is in the air.
Posted on September 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Updated today at 4:41 PM
AUSTIN -- Current smoke and haze in the air around Central Texas is coming from previous fires in the area.
The National Weather Service announced Wednesday morning that the current smoke problems are from an inversion in the atmosphere that is keeping smoke low to the ground.
Officials say winds are blowing smoke into Travis County and the city of Austin.
And news about the glow:
Some latest news information:
Thanks for that link to the NASA footage.
That is so nice that you are concerned for me. I have been keeping up with the news reports. As soon as I feel like I should evacuate -- I will. I won't be waiting until the last minute.
Until then -- I'll keep everyone up to date on the fires.
Updated news on the fires:
BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 34,068 acres, 30 percent contained. Heavy airtankers, scoopers, helicopters, and SEATs assisted on this fire that started in the Lost Pines area just northeast of Bastrop. Most of the forward progress of the fire has stopped, but significant intense burning continues in the interior.
An assessment team has confirmed 1,386 homes have been destroyed. Two civilians were found dead Tuesday as search crews went through the charred subdivisions. A Southern Area Type I Incident Management Team is assisting in managing the fire. A FEMA Management Assistance Grant was received.
There is a slideshow online showing the devastation from the fires that have still not been contained -- here is the link: