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Updated: Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011, 11:17 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011, 3:13 PM CDT
BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - One month to the day that the fires broke out that would consume some 1,500 homes, another fire swarmed across 1000 acres of Bastrop County on Tuesday and forced another round of evacuations.
“Nerve-racking. Very nerve-racking," said Star Brown, who was helping a neighbor load up horses.
“If they evacuate my house a couple streets over, we'll go to Giddings like we did last time. Stay in a hotel.”
30 homes were evacuated, but even neighborhoods that had no mandatory evacuations saw the signs from the sky and decided to leave anyway. Especially since many of them had to evacuate exactly a month ago to the day during the large Bastrop County fire.
“Trying to get as much as we can," said Barbara King, who was loading up her car with all the belongings she could. “Probably go to Bastrop, my daughter is living there.”
Many residents in the Holiday Hills neighborhood packed up their belongings and loaded their horses on trailers, expecting the fire might come their way.
“This is second time. At least I was more prepared about what I was going to take out this time. This time I had about an hour to prepare. You can't get everything, but I have the most important things,” said Michael Moore, who was given the order to evacuate.
“It's getting a little old. It's about time we get some rain. If we don't get any rain soon we think it's just going to keep happening,” said Aleph Yonker, who was helping friends load up their stuff. “It's pretty crazy. Our house recently burned down in the last fire and we're here trying to pack them up and try to get their horses and stuff outta here. The timing couldn't be more bizarre."
The fast-growing fire that was moving northwest taxed both air and ground resources to an already strained system.
Just before 8 p.m., officials said the fire was 25 percent contained and that no homes have been lost.
The Bastrop County Sheriff's office said that residents in the vicinity of Herron Trail Road, Oak Hill Cemetery Road, Cody Road and Crepe Myrtle Drive have been evacuated. The evacuations will remain in place through the night.
FM 2336 has been closed from Hwy 290 to Hwy 95.
Aleph Yonker, whose home was among those lost in last month's fires, was helping friends in harms way of Tuesday's blaze prepare to flee.
"The timing couldn't be more bizarre," Yonker said as he assisted neighbors load valuables,pets and livestock into vehicles to escape the path of the fire.
Evacuees were being sent to Celebration Community Church at 107 Longhorn St., off of Cool Water Drive. Call 512-332-2537 for more details.
A few people had streamed into the evacuation center by 6:30 p.m. and had dinner. At that point, officials did not know if they have to keep the center open through the night.
Helping at the evacuation center is a group of Amish people from Ohio, called "Christian Aid Ministries: An Amish-Mennonite Witness for Christ." They have been in Bastrop helping since recovery efforts started after last month's fire.
The fire was called in early in the afternoon as a small, two-acre grass fire. It quickly grew, and by 3 p.m., the estimate was increased to be at 100 acres, then to 600 acres and finally topping 800 acres by about 5:30 p.m., and as many as 900 acres, the Texas Forest Service said.
There are two single-engine air tankers, three heavy tankers, one DC-10 super tanker and two helicopters fighting the fire with water drops from the air as the sun sets.
The air support was called in just before 3:30 p.m. By 4:30 p.m., the six tankers were in the air attempting to control the blaze, including the DC-10 that was brought but never used on the fires that stared over the Labor Day weekend.
Last month's fires, by contrast, consumed about 34,000 acres.
At least 50,000 gallons of retardant had been dropped on the fires by 5:45 p.m., the Forest Service said.
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