AUSTIN (KXAN) - On Wednesday Lake Travis Fire Chief Jim Linardos allowed KXAN's Reagan Hackleman to ride shotgun as he toured the Steiner Ranch community.
Lake Travis Fire Chief Jim Linardos has driven into Steiner Ranch more times then he can count during the past four days.
The first time he drove in on Sunday, he says he was scared and worried.
"We worry, but we all kind of get in a busy mode and just stay with it most of the time and do our job," said Linardos.
His job was leading the hundreds of fire fighters that it would take to get this wildfire under control. As of Wednesday night the wildfire was 75 percent contained.
"I've gone to a lot of big fires all over the nation as a fire fighter. But having one like this in my own district, this is the first time I've suffered this type of a loss," Linardos said.
In the end, 24 homes were destroyed and 30 others damaged.
"I just feel sad and my heart breaks for these homeowners who have lost everything they own and in some cases even their pets," Linardos said. "It was just horrible loss for these people. A lot of them where gone on vacation for the holiday and they came back to face this."
But many also came back to find their homes untouched. More than 300 homes were saved.
"We were really fortunate we could save as many as we did. We really wish we could have saved them all, we really do, it just didn't happen," Lindardos said.
Now that the fire in under control, Linardos says the ones doing the real work are the actual members of the Steiner Ranch community.
"I'm just overwhelmed by the support this community is giving each other and that's so important right now," Linardos said.
Important because it's going to take a long time for the community to rebuild.
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