Deputies block the entrance to Paleface Ranch Rd. off SH 71 Tuesday night. (Dustin Blanchard / KXAN)
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Updated: Wednesday, 07 Sep 2011, 11:49 AM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 07 Sep 2011, 12:23 AM CDT
SPICEWOOD, Texas (KXAN) - The Spicewood area was reopened to residents at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. However, residents must have registered and obtained a wristband and car placard before they can be let back in to get to their homes.
Officials said at about 10 a.m. Wednesday that the Spicewood fire was 90 percent contained, but assessment of the burned area was then only 70 percent complete and still considered to be an active fire.
The fire has burned for three nights and deputies continue to block access to Paleface Ranch Road and the Fall Creek subdivision, which is testing the emotions of area residents who want back in.
No cause of the fire has yet been determined, officials said.
Pedernales Fire Department spokeswoman Mary Christopher said because the area has such rough terrain, firefighters could not drive vehicles but had to walk as much as one mile to assess the burn, which covers 6,400 acres and measures about two miles by five miles in size. She said they are "trying their hardest to complete the assessment today, but it will take time."
Residents must go to Bee Creek Methodist Church, 3000 Bee Creek Road, to register and get wristbands which prove they live in the area. Residents must show identification and proof of residency to get the wristbands at the church.
Christopher said the most current updates will first be posted on the Pedernales Fire Department website and that residents should refer to it.
The fire was formerly known as the Pedernales fire.
Dozens of folks drove up to the roadblock early Wednesday, only to be turned away. Many more picked up wristbands and car tags for when the neighborhoods eventually reopen.
In another area of the city, Ray Johnson came home to find his yard completely blackened, but his home untouched.
"Embers didn't jump up on the house and start the roof on fire or anything. We got really lucky. honestly, we got really lucky," said Johnson.
Tracks from a fire truck could be seen across his scorched lawn. He said he is extremely thankful for their efforts.
"They've worked their tails off. They've done great," he said. "With all they've had to do, you can't ask any more of them."
The fire damaged or destroyed 67 structures in Fall Creek and off of Paleface Ranch Road. Firefighters do not know how many of those structures are houses.
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