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Updated: Thursday, 08 Sep 2011, 2:35 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 06 Sep 2011, 7:34 AM CDT
BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - With hundreds of homes gone and upward of 30,000 acres destroyed in Bastrop County, emergency crews battled fires overnight but have still not managed to bring them under control.
Officials said during Tuesday morning's news briefing that 366 firefighters from several agencies have joined the fight that has claimed 476 homes and displaced at least 5,000 people. A favorable shift in the wind has given officials hope that crews can finally make some headway against the relentless flames.
"Bastrop County is not the same," a weary Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald told KXAN on Tuesday morning. "It's not the same."
Assisting firefighters were some 100 law enforcement officers, 47 fire engines, 27 bulldozers and four helicopters. The law enforcement presence was called in to prevent looting, officials said.
Meanwhile, a second fire in Bastrop County reignited overnight, burning 1,000 acres near Union Chapel and State Highway 21 area near Cedar Creeek high school in the Morgan Pass subdivision. Officials said 25 homes lost and another 20 to 25 homes threatened
More than 4,000 residents were without electricity. Also, the Bastrop Independent School District announced that classes are canceled for Wednesday.
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 call 512-332-8856 or 512-332-8814.
KXAN News is also keeping track of the latest on the Bastrop fire and more information for those affected.
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