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Updated: Friday, 16 Sep 2011, 6:17 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 16 Sep 2011, 2:53 PM CDT
BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) - The Bastrop fire that destroyed more than 1,500 homes and burned 34,000 acres is 80 percent contained, but the massive cleanup exercise continues, officials said Friday.
County Judge Ronnie McDonald, flanked by representatives from numerous agencies called in to assist in the recovery effort, said that the morning news briefing -- a daily staple since the fire started Sept. 4 -- would be the final one.
"We have a valuable team that came together," McDonald said. "I looked behind me and I saw those ladies and those men that came to our support and it was overwhelming."
Officials were still trying to clean up the large amount of debris left by the fire. And they warned residents to be extemely careful with such items as propane tanks and anything that could cause new fires or flare-ups.
So far, $2.4 million in federal funds has been approved for housing assistance in Bastrop County, and almost $200,000 has been made available for such out-of-pocket expenses as medical bills.
Lisa Jackson, Bastop County 's victim service coordinator, said steps are being taken to deal with any emotional stress afflicting residents
"It’s very important that as we begin to rebuild our lives it’s important to monitor our emotional health," she said.
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