Residents Allowed To Return Home As Crews Get Handle On Bastrop Wildfire
UPDATE 8:17 a.m., Aug. 21: The Texas A&M Fire Service reports the fire is now 95 percent contained.
UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: The fire is now 90 percent contained, Texas A&M Fire Service reports.
UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: Officials say the fire is now 80 percent contained and down to 25 acres. All park roads and campgrounds at Bastrop State Park are open.
UPDATE 9:23 a.m., Aug. 20: The Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire is now 75 percent contained.
UPDATE 11:06 p.m.: Officials with the Texas A&M Forest Service say the wildfire is now 65 percent contained.
UPDATE 9:20 p.m.: According to Bastrop County officials, one lane of westbound State Highway 71 is reopening. Emergency crews have asked motorists not to stop between Pine Hill Loop and the Bastrop County line to avoid traffic hazards.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement on the wildfire Saturday night:
"I urge all residents of Bastrop County to heed the warnings of local officials, pay attention to media reports and evacuate if necessary. I have ordered the Texas Department of Emergency Management to make available all necessary resources to assist in battling this blaze. I ask all Texans to keep those in the fire's path in their thoughts and prayers."
UPDATE 9:02 p.m.: Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire is now 45 percent contained. Residents evacuated earlier in the day are now allowed to return home.
UPDATE 8:24 p.m.: Texas A&M Forest Service says crews have stopped the wildfire from gaining new ground and are now working to fully contain it.
UPDATE 7:54 p.m.: Texas A&M Forest Service says the wildfire is now 10 percent contained.
Our original post continues:
A wildfire is raging across 35 acres near Bastrop State Park, the Texas A&M Forest Service says, with 0 percent of the fire contained. County officials are mandating the evacuation of residents of Royal Pines Drive, Peace Havena and Pine Hill Loop. The westbound lanes of State Highway 71 in the area are closed.
Residents were told to seek shelter at the Smithville Recreation Center, 106 Gazeley St.
As of 7 p.m., the fire was threatening 30 homes in the area, although none of them have been damaged.
The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management said aviation and fire crews were working to contain the fire and warned people to stay away from the area.
The most destructive wildfires in Texas history hit Bastrop in 2011.