Over 400 homes burn in Texas wildfires

Red Flag Warnings in Texas, September 5, 2011

Strong winds and low humidities from Tropical Storm Lee without the benefit of any rain have created conditions ripe for wildfires in Texas. The Texas Forest Service is reporting that approximately 429 homes have been destroyed in the 38 large fires that are currently burning.

Large fires in Texas, 9-5-2011
Map showing some of the large fires currently burning in Texas, 9-5-2011. Credit: Texas Forest Service

On Sunday Texas mobilized additional National Guard Blackhawk helicopters and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams as well as a heavy airtanker from South Dakota. At this time dozens of firefighting aircraft are being used, including four heavy airtankers, 15 single-engine airtankers, 12 helicopters, and 13 aerial supervision aircraft. A Type 1 incident management team has been requested to assist with the Bastrop County Complex.

The strong winds are expected to continue over the east half or more of the state along with drier relative humidities into the 10 to 20 percent range across much of the state. High temperatures will be in the upper 70s to lower 80s over a large portion of North Texas to near 100 over Deep South Texas near the Mexico border. The stronger winds are expected to weaken over most of the state Monday night.

Red Flag Warnings in Texas, September 5, 2011
Red Flag Warnings in Texas, September 5, 2011
Screen shot from YouTube video
Screen shot from YouTube video

The image above is a screen capture from a video of a fire near Spicewood, Texas.

Radar image of smoke from Bastrop County Complex fire
Radar image of smoke from the Bastrop County Complex fire

Below is information about the 10 largest fires in Texas, provided by the Texas Forest Service, September 5:

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BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 14,000 acres, no containment. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers assisted on this fire that started in the Lost Pines area just northeast of Bastrop. The fire has moved unchecked for at least 16 miles to the south and has jumped the Colorado River twice. The Circle D, K.C. Estates, Pine Forest, Colovista and Tahitian Village subdivision have been evacuated. Firefighters are trying to hold the fire at FM 2571. Reports indicate possibly 300 homes have been destroyed. MODIS satellite image indicates the fire has jumped Highway 95 and is approximately 25,000 acres.

STEINER RANCH, Travis County. 150 acres, no containment. The fire started just north of the Steiner Ranch subdivision. More than 1,000 homes are under mandatory evacuation in Steiner Ranch. At least 25 homes are reported lost. A Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike team responded.

PEDERNALES BEND, Travis County. 7,000 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning four miles southeast of Spicewood. Twenty homes were lost, 30 homes damaged.

HENDERSON #495, Henderson County. 5,000 acres, unknown containment. Three homes were saved.

#491, Limestone County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. Six homes were saved and one was lost on this fire 20 miles east of Waco.

DELHI, Caldwell County. 1,000 acres, 10 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.

BAILEY, Colorado County. 1,000 acres, unknown containment. This fast-moving fire threatened 40 homes near Columbus. Blackhawks, single-engine airtankers and a heavy airtanker assisted.

MOORE, Smith County. 927 acres, 5 percent contained. Ten homes were evacuated and five were lost on this fire burning on the Smith/Gregg County line. Two civilian fatalities were reported.

#545, Upshur County. 500 acres, 50 percent contained. One hundred homes were saved; none lost. The fire is burning East of Gilmer.

LUTHERHILL, Fayette County. 2,000 acres, unknown containment. The community of Ruttersville was evacuated. Seven homes are reported lost.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

6 thoughts on “Over 400 homes burn in Texas wildfires”

  1. Posting for friends,…

    DUE TO GRASS FIRES IN TEXAS

    URGENT NEED for horse transport for evacuation in Bastrop County, TX. Barns that were used to house evacuees are now in the fire’s path. Rt 304 still open both ways. Anyone in the area who can help, please call Beth at 512-467-4893 or Rachel at 512-581-2940 . There at least 43 horses in immediate need at their rescue, surely there will be more. **Please cross post!!**

  2. @E Sikes…. i know i live in the magnolia area… its bad. I have some good friends that have lost their homes. Do you know if any has been contained?? Cause i have not heard??

  3. I have a 3 horse slant and I am available Tuesday and Wednesday morning of this week if you need something moved.

  4. Is there a Link somewhere where we can look at home address to see IF we are on the lkist of LOSS of Home in the Tahitian Area of Bastrop

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