Today we are updating the map that we provided yesterday of the Bastrop fire and trying a new format, a gallery of maps. Above you will see three maps of the fire, topographic, street, and satellite. Click on them to see larger versions, then hit your “back” button to return to this article. All of the maps have graphics representing heat detected by satellites at 4:00 a.m. CT September 7 . Red is for active burning, yellow is heat detected within the previous 12 hours, and black represents heat detected within the previous 24 hours.
The two people that died in the fire have not yet been identified, except that they were not public safety personnel. The fire has now burned approximately 38,000 acres and the containment increased from zero to 30 percent today. The number of structures burned, according to the National Situation Report, has changed from the earlier estimate of 600, to 550.
[UPDATE at 11:00 a.m. CT: The Texas Forest Service reported this morning: "An assessment has been completed on the Bastrop County Complex and 785 homes have been reported destroyed." Farther down in the TFS report it says about the Bastrop fire: "An assessment team has confirmed 885 homes have been destroyed".]
The Bastrop fire is the largest fire currently burning in Texas. The Southern Area’s Type 1 Red Incident Management Team will be in place early Wednesday morning.
As you can see, the map shows very little fire activity within the last 12 hours. This is most likely due to some of these factors:
- The wind has decreased from the 30+ mph produced by tropical storm Lee to the 5-10 mph we have seen over the last 24 hours. Even less wind, 2-10 mph, is predicted through Thursday. Wind is the primary factor that turns small fires into large conflagrations.
- In some places the fire is running out of fuel, moving out of the forested areas and into agricultural areas.
- More firefighting resources on the ground and in the air are fighting the fire.
An interesting footnote. You may have noticed on the lower-right side of the satellite imagery map the name “LUECKE” spelled out in green. The landowner clear-cut trees on the property, leaving enough to see the letters. They are huge, and span about 2.5 miles from the “L” to the last “E”. Astronauts on the International Space Station use these letters to check the resolution of their cameras.
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