Bastrop County fire
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Updated: Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011, 11:25 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011, 11:19 AM CDT
BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) - Burning for more than three weeks since it broke out, the Bastrop County Complex wildfire is now 98 percent contained as of Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Though the containment process has taken some time, fire crews are gaining ground on the massive fire that killed two people. Officials said crews and equipment continue to mop up and protect homes within the perimeter.
Meanwhile, there is no fire burning outisde the main containment lines.
Since erupting on Sept. 4, the fire has burned 34,068 acres and destroyed 1,554 homes.
Bastrop County has already started work on a new recovery plan following the devastating wildfires.
The power has also been fully restored to all areas affected.
A handful of areas in the county are now approved debris-dumping sites, and the city has just hired a Leander company to help with clean-up.
Officials estimate it will cost more than $5 million and are asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover 90 percent of that.
He is planning a hearing in Bastrop soon to learn if FEMA's response was fast enough.
And while rebuilding is key, three residents have filed a lawsuit against Bluebonnet Electric claiming it is to blame for the massive and destructive wildfires.
The company said the trees that fell on power lines were on private property and that given the dry, windy, hot conditions at the time that "no reasonable person could blame the utility."
Bluebonnet's statement in full
"This lawsuit is a misguided attempt to blame Bluebonnet for a terrible incident that we could not control," said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet's chief executive officer. "The Labor Day weekend fires in Bastrop County were the result of high winds causing tall trees to fall into our power lines through one of the most heavily forested areas of Texas in the midst of an historic drought. These trees were on private property, well outside Bluebonnet's rights-of-way. Given these facts and the conditions at the time these fires started – extreme drought, high winds, hot temperatures, low humidity and abundant fuel – no reasonable person could blame Bluebonnet, or any other utility."
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