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County firefighters contain two wildfires

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  • Article Image Alt Text
    The location of the August 3 wildfire. Images courtesy of Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management
  • Article Image Alt Text
    The area where the August 6 wildfire was located.

Bastrop County fire departments have fought four fires—two wildfires, a structure fire and a grass and brush fire—since the beginning of the month.

On August 3, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced at 12:41 p.m. on their Facebook page that they and the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, Bastrop County Emergency Services District No. 2 and the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department were on scene at a ten-acre wildfire north of Smithville. The Texas A&M Forest Service was also on the scene with two dozers and overhead personnel.

By 12:50 p.m., the wildfire, called the Big Letter F ire, was estimated to be 70% contained, and forward of the fire was stopped by 2 p.m. No structures were under threat.

By 4 p.m., the Big Letter Fire was 75% contained with a dozer line around the entire perimeter of the fire, according to the OEM.

The next day, containment was at 90% by noon, and the Texas A&M Forest Service crews returned to the fire to mop up, which includes extinguishing any heat near the containment lines. By 2 p.m., the fire was completely contained and ended up at 15 acres. The cause of the fire was determined to be lightning from a storm on the evening of August 2.

On August 6, the OEM reported a wildfire at 4:26 p.m. about five miles south of Cedar Creek, near the intersection of FM 812 and Hop Holder Lane. Bastrop County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Travis County crews were on scene to fight the fire, which was approximately 20 acres. The fire was about 30% contained and forward progression was stopped by 6:15 p.m., and the Texas A&M Forest Service was on the scene with a dozer. The fire was completely contained with a dozer line by 9 p.m.

The next day, on August 7, the OEM and the McDade Volunteer Fire Department reported a large structure fire at 7:37 p.m. at the corner of Milam Street and Austin Street in McDade. The Elgin Volunteer Fire Department and Bastrop County Emergency Services District No. 2 provided mutual aid to the McDade Volunteer Fire Department. The fire was under control and in extensive mop-up by 7:45 p.m.

Finally, on August 9 at 9:32 a.m., the OEM reported a two-acre grass and brush fire in the 100 block of Willow Road, south of Elgin. The Elgin, McDade and Lee County fire departments were on scene to put out the fire, along with the Texas A&M Forest Service. The fire was under control and in heavy mop-up by 9:40 a.m.