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Evacuated Spicewood Residents Return Home

Photo by Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News and
Larry Kirkpatrick's mobile home and car were destroyed in the Spicewood fire. Now, with no transportation, he says he must move back into Austin.

People forced from their houses by a wildfire in the Hill Country community of Spicewood were allowed to return home this morning. The blaze blackened more than 6,400 acres and is now 90 percent contained.

Between 65 and 75 buildings were at least partially burned in Fall Creek Estates and the Paleface Ranch Road area. Assessments are underway to measure the extent of the damage. Some people lost everything.

“It was probably one of the fourth or fifth houses to go up,” Spicewood resident Steve Hill said of his home. “But it came in so fast, we couldn’t do nothing about it.”

Hill owns the property and says he intends to rebuild his house.

“I built it the first time. I can do it again,” he said.

But some people don’t have the resources to stick around. Larry Kirkpatrick began renting a mobile home from his friend a couple weeks ago. Now it’s destroyed.

“I’m going to have to move back into Austin, because it’s too difficult for me,” he said. “My car burned up. I’ve got no transportation anymore. It’s not feasible for me to live out here. Where am I going to live anyway?”

Evacuees who wish to return to the neighborhood must first pick up a wrist band and car tag from Bee Creek United Methodist Church at 3000 Bee Creek Rd. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
Reshma Kirpalani works as a freelancer at KUT News.
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