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Wildfire near Bastrop State Park forced evacuations Tuesday

Smoke billows from the Powder Keg Pine wildfire on the south side of Bastrop State Park.
Texas A&M Forest Service
Smoke billows from the Powder Keg Pine wildfire on the south side of Bastrop State Park.

Read the latest updates on the Powder Keg Pine fire in our Wednesday story.

A wildfire on the south side of Bastrop State Park forced the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses, the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says. In a 9:19 p.m. Tuesday update, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management said evacuees can return home.

The sheriff's office said in a tweet that multiple agencies responded to the fire Tuesday afternoon along westbound State Highway 71 near Harmon Road — around four miles east of downtown Bastrop. Evacuation orders, when they were in effect, stretched from Harmon Road to Pine Hill Loop.

The Texas A&M Forest Service website shows the wildfire, named the Powder Keg Pine fire, is about 100 acres in size and 50% contained as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Austin Fire Department says it sent multiple units to help fight the fire, alongside Travis County emergency service districts, and expects to stay until around 9 p.m.

AFD shared video taken from a Travis County STAR Flight helicopter showing how close the fire got to buildings.

Video posted to Twitter shows black smoke billowing next to Parabellum Research, a small arms manufacturer.

This story has been updated.

Andy Jechow is the audience engagement editor for KUT News. Got a tip? Email him at andy@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter at @AndyJechow.
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