Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Texas On Fire! Updates.

Latest on wildfires from the Texas Forest Service

Posted: Sep 06, 2011 8:48 AM MDTUpdated: Sep 06, 2011 8:48 AM MDT

· Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 22 new fires for 7,544 acres, including 10 new large fires.
· In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 181 fires for 118,413 acres.
· It appears that in the past 48 hours, more than 700 homes have been destroyed. As better assessments come in, we will continue to update the situation report.
· 251 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
· Daily detailed fire information can be found at
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels; or where homes were lost):
*Note: Details on many fires are still unconfirmed. The Dispatch Tracker System was down most of yesterday and went down again this morning. Most of the details below are from late last night.
RILEY ROAD, Grimes County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. The fire is exhibiting extreme fire behavior as it burns rapidly west of Magnolia. At least 20 homes have been destroyed, with 150 immediately threatened and hundred more in its path. The fire is actively moving to the south.
TAMINA ROAD, Montgomery County. 150 acres, unknown containment. Two hundred homes have been evacuated in and near the Woodlands and an additional 400 are within a one-fourth of a mile of the fire.
UNION CHAPEL, Bastrop County. 750 acres, 10 percent contained. Twenty-five homes were destroyed on this fire just west of Bastrop. Aircraft responded immediately after the fire was reported, but were ineffective in the windy conditions.
MOONGLOW, Williamson County. 300 acres, no containment. This fire is burning in Leander where 150 homes were threatened. Thirteen homes are reported lost.
PETERS CHAPEL, Harrison County. 600 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning actively in pine plantation. Numerous homes have been evacuated. There are no reports of losses.
#552, Upshur County. 200 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Three homes were lost and dozens remain threatened.
#854, Walker County. 200 acres, unknown containment. Thirty homes have been evacuated, five homes were destroyed.
#507, Anderson County. 1,200 acres, unknown containment.
#505 Rusk County. 400 acres, unknown containment.
#504, Anderson County. 800 acres, unknown containment.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 30,000 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 continues to move rapidly to the south, with some eastward movement. Numerous subdivisions have been evacuated. Reports indicate nearly 600 homes have been destroyed.
PEDERNALES BEND, Travis County. 6,500 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning 4 miles southeast of Spicewood. Sixty-seven homes were destroyed. The fire has jumped the Pedernales River and is burning actively towards the south.
BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 7,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning in heavy timber and is threatened a gas facility and chicken houses.
STEINER RANCH, Travis County. 125 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire started just north of the Steiner Ranch subdivision. More than 1,000 homes were evacuated. Thirty-five homes were destroyed. A Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike team responded.
HENDERSON #495, Anderson County. 3,700 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. 8,000 acres, 40 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.
BAILEY, Colorado County. 1,500 acres, 50 percent contained. This fast-moving fire threatened 40 homes near Columbus.
MOORE, Smith County. 1,300 acres, 90 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.
DIANA (#545), Upshur County. 750 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in grass and timber. Twenty homes are threatened.
LUTHERHILL, Fayette County. 2,000 acres, 50 percent contained. The community of Ruttersville was evacuated. Seven homes are reported lost.
BONBIEW RANCH, Van Zandt County. 350 acres, 80 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved southeast of Canton.
CLEMANIS, Upshur County. 500 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved on this timber fire.
#543, Gregg County. 300 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in pine and hardwood. Numerous homes were saved, none lost. The fire is burning in hardwood and pine.
#538, Harrison County. 200 acres, contained. One hundred fifty homes were evacuated in a trailer park east of Longview.
#502, Nacogdoches County. 2,900 acres, unknown containment. More than a dozen homes have been evacuated, but none lost.
ARBOR, Houston County. 150 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Up to 15 homes reported lost.
KENNEDY ROAD, Rusk County. 150 acres, unknown containment. Numerous homes threatened, one lost.
PETTYTOWN, Caldwell County. 200 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved east of Lockhart.
OLD MAGNOLIA, Gregg County. 500 acres, unknown containment. Several structures and a gas plant are threatened. Two fuel tanks exploded.
SOUTH SULPHER, Hunt County. 100 acres, 70 percent contained. Five homes were threatened and two were destroyed.
#839, Leon County (Concord Robbins). 600 acres, unknown containment. At least 15 homes are reported lost and more than 300 were evacuated.
101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed.

Weather Outlook:
A surface ridge of dry high pressure will dominate most of Texas today. A surface trough along the front range of the Rockies near the northern New Mexico Texas border will increase the winds over the panhandle area of Texas. Lows relative humidities of 10 to 20 percent can be expected over all west Texas with low relative humidities of 5 to 10 percent around Fort Stockton and west. The strongest winds will be over the panhandle and around I-35 east. High temperatures will range in the 80s and 90s. Poor overnight recoveries are expected for areas away from the coast. Drier conditions expected today as high pressure moves over North Texas. Lighter winds will be the case for the East Branch. Sunny skies with relative humidity values falling to 16 to 21 percent west and 25 to 32 percent east. Highs will be in the mid-80s to lower 90s across the region with the warmer temperatures west of Interstate 45. North to northeast winds around 10 mph gusting to 15-20 and near 15 mph with gusts 20-25 in the south. Poor to moderate overnight recoveries are expected.

Wildfire destroys nearly 500 homes near Austin, Texas

Blaze that has burned 25,000 acres is zero percent contained; 2 deaths blamed on fires

updated 9/6/2011 12:54:28 AM ET

BASTROP, Texas — A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Central Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part by howling winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

At least 5,000 people were forced from their homes in Bastrop County about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Austin, and about 400 were in emergency shelters, officials said.

Huge clouds of smoke soared into the sky and hung over downtown Bastrop, a town of about 6,000 people along the Colorado River that has many tall pine trees. The blaze consumed as much as 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares) along a line that stretched for about 16 miles (26 kilometers), Texas Forest Service officials said.

Wildfires rip through sun-scorched Texas
September 05, 2011|By the CNN Wire Staff

Smoke billows from a wildfire in Bastrop County, Texas, on Sunday.

Firefighters southeast of Austin, Texas, battled strong winds Monday as they struggled to gain ground against a fast-moving wildfire that has so far scorched some 25,000 acres and destroyed close to 500 homes.

Another fire in eastern Texas killed a mother and her 18-month-old child when flames engulfed their mobile home Sunday near Gladewater, the Gregg County Sheriff's Department said.

"We got a long way to go to get this thing contained," Gov. Rick Perry said about the fire raging near Austin. "I have seen a number of big fires in my life. This one is as mean looking as I've ever seen."

Sep 5, 2011 10:42am

Rick Perry to Skip South Carolina Forum to Deal with Texas Wildfires

But Perry did not skip South Carolina entirely.  This morning Perry spoke across the state in Conway, S.C. at a presidential townhall hosted by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
“I’m leaving directly from here and going back to Texas. Our state has got wildfires. They’re running quite wild with zero containment,” Perry said. “So just keep those folks in your prayers if you will as we go back and try to keep people out of harm’s way in our state and pray for rain as well.”
Perry has kept in close contact with emergency operations officials dealing with the fires in Texas and spoke with his emergency management chief Monday morning.

"No containment" of Texas wildfire

Firefighters from around the state battle a large wildfire on Highway 71 near Smithville, Texas, Monday, Sep. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Erich Schlegel)
Last Updated 9:52 a.m. ET
BASTROP, Texas - Firefighters trying to control a wind-fueled wildfire that has destroyed nearly 600 homes in Central Texas were looking for a few overnight hours of diminished winds as thousands of evacuees spent the night away from their threatened homes.
There's been no significant rainfall over central Texas for a year, said CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds, and today the consequences of that are being seen in Bastrop and other areas.
Since December, wildfires have consumed 3.6 million acres of Texas - an area the size of the state of Connecticut.
Unfortunately, there is no rainfall in the forecast for the foreseeable future.
The Texas Forest Service put out statement saying, "This is unprecedented fire behavior. No one on the face of this Earth has ever fought fires in these extreme conditions."
Tom Boggus, director of the Texas Forest Service, told CBS' "The Early Show" that as of this morning "There's no containment right now."

Judge: Bastrop County is not the same

Bastrop Co. Judge Ronnie McDonald talks to KXAN

Updated: Tuesday, 06 Sep 2011, 8:26 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 06 Sep 2011, 7:34 AM CDT
BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - With more than 475 homes gone and upwards of 25,000 acres destroyed in Bastrop County, emergency crews have been working throughout the night on two fires burning there.
Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald has been helping to coordinate the emergency efforts. In a Tuesday morning interview with KXAN News, McDonald said he had been driving with troopers assessing the damage.
"Bastrop County is not the same ... It's not the same," McDonald said.
He urged residents to take action when they get word to evacuate.
"We are trying to save lives now," he said.
McDonald expressed relief when he leaned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be on the ground Tuesday to assist.
"We have residents really concerned for their lives and their families' lives, so it's really reassuring that FEMA's coming in," he said. "We are going to need continual pray and continual volunteers."
He asked for everyone's support, saying it's a necessity.
"We know a lot of individuals want to know if their houses are still standing, and we'll get to that. But right now, we're just trying to make sure we're saving lives and evacuating everybody that needs to be evacuated."
Anyone looking for information on the fire is asked to call512-332-8856 or 512-332-8814.

Perry says Texas wildfire ‘as mean looking’ as he’s ever seen, federal disaster relief sought

Rain from Lee moves north...Firefighters in Texas have their hands full

UNDATED (AP) — Rain from what was once Tropical Storm Lee is spreading northeast after leaving widespread flooding in the South. Out in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Katia (KAH'-tyuh) is veering northeast, away from the United States. It's weakened to a Category 3 storm.

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Firefighters in Central Texas are trying to make headway on a wind-fueled, 25,000-acre wildfire that has destroyed nearly 500 homes. Thousands of evacuees spent the night away from their homes but there are no immediate reports of injuries.

LONDON (AP) — A new study estimates that about 165 million people in Europe have some untreated type of mental illness. Rates of mental disorders don't appear to be rising. The most common problems included anxiety disorders, insomnia, depression, alcohol and drug dependence and dementia.

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-uhs), officially trades in his stars for a business suit today when he is sworn is as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After 37 years in the Army, the newly retired general with the major media profile will be watched to see if he'll pursue policies opposed by White House officials who disagreed with him during the Afghan war.

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's plenty of traditional flu vaccine to go around but some lucky folks may get to try what could be the next big thing -- a tiny needle and a less scary pinprick. The new type of flu shot is hitting the market this fall, but just for adults and in limited availability. Wider distribution is set for next year.

Lighter winds could help firefighting efforts today

Lower wind speeds today could give fire crews an advantage in gaining control of raging fires in Central Texas.
Winds out of the north are expected to be 5 to 10 miles per hour today, well below speeds of 25 to 35 mph yesterday afternoon, said Pat McDonald, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
The news bodes well for firefighting efforts throughout the region, including in Bastrop, Steiner Ranch and Leander.
“It is a lot less windier than it was yesterday, thank God,” McDonald said. “Hopefully they will get a good handle on it today.”
Last night, winds died down at sunset, ahead of the expected time of midnight, McDonald said.
Lower temperatures should also bode well for firefighting efforts, McDonald said. Today’s high is expected to reach 90.
Challenges remain, however, with low humidities and no sign of rain soon.
“Because the grasses are there, the low humidity is there, the only positive thing I can say about today is the winds won’t be so high,” McDonald said. “That’s why the fires spread so fast yesterday. The lower temperatures should help, too.”
The region is no longer under a Red Flag advisory, which warns for a high fire threat. But officials are asking residents to take extra precautions in such dry conditions, such as not using open flames outdoors and taking other steps to avoid sparks.
For example, in the Stone Oak area of northern San Antonio yesterday, a hot exhaust pipe on a vehicle driven onto a brushy area sparked a 200-acre fire, McDonald said.
“Everybody should be very careful with sparks and fires,” he said.

1 comment:

W. Home said...

The Texas fire had really struck a huge number of homes that really impacted the housing market in the state.

texas mce