Sunday, March 01, 2009
Just an update to let everyone know that the wildfires are settling down in our area. If the winds will cease we should be able to hear they are contained soon. With our EXTREME drought conditions this scene has been a worry to all for sometime. Yesterdays unusually high winds made it all worse....much worse. Law enforcement patrolled door to door checking on citizens for miles. They came through our driveway too. Although we were advised to be on stand by for a probable mandatory evacuation of our home last night, we were able to stay home. We sat outside until dark watching the helicopters loaded with water going back and forth to the scenes. I say scenes because it was miles and miles long and deep through the woods and home areas. At last count close to 30 homes have been lost and countless acres of farmland, miles alongside our State Park ( unknown how the park was affected ) and unknown wildlife and livestock. Our church, along with other churches in town, and the City Recreational center are hosting families who are displaced from their homes. We had good friends who lost their homes and everything. As I sat out in the yard last night listening to sirens, ambulances, and helicopters I thought about seriously what I would grab if I had to leave. I started out with a very long list.....yes almost everything, including Christmas ornaments but when it all came down to it? I just would have gotton my purse and left. That's it. There is not one thing that I place that much value into and if you know me and how much I love my home and my pretties, then you know that's something for me. Seriously. The panic around here yesterday just made me imagine what the war torn areas of our world that deal with panic and crisis on a daily/minute by minute basis and how brave our soldiers ( and firefighters ) are. I still hear all the choppers in the distance as I type but I am safe and sound. And blessed. This world is not my home anyway.
Here is a blurb off the Austin news web:
Highway 71 is open after a fire consumed more than 650 acres in Bastrop County and destroyed homes and businesses.
Crews are still fighting hot spots near Highway 71 between Bastrop and Smithville. But firefighters are estimating only 50 percent of the fire is contained.
At least 23 homes and structures were burned to the ground. Plus three businesses and four vehicles were also destroyed.
The wildfire charred 650 acres, and 150 homes had to be evacuated.
The fire started at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon after strong winds knocked down power lines.
Law enforcement shut down Highway 71 at Mcallister and turned motorists around.
Crews fought the blaze from the air and the ground, and say drought conditions and high winds made their job that much more difficult.
Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald declared a disaster for Bastrop County. That allows the county to receive federal aid to fight the fire.
One fire fighter was treated for smoke inhilation. No other injuries have been reported.