SMITHVILLE, Texas (KXAN) - Firefighters have a wildfire that scorched at least 252 acres under control and power restored to all residents in the Smithville area.
The fire was sparked by a lightning strike on Saturday morning. Crews said bark fell from a tree after being hit by lightning, igniting pine needles and brush. The rain extinguished the flames that day, but the smoldering heat later reignited a larger fire on Monday.
Firefighters said the extreme heat and drop in humidity created the perfect combination for the fire to flare up.
Officials said the fire was 75 percent contained at 6:45 p.m Tuesday.
Authorities evacuated three dozen homes because of the fire on the western edge of town that was reported about 5:30 p.m. All of the residents are back home now.
"The main fire is out, but you have your hotspots," said Page. "Without a doubt, without the quick response from everybody throughout Bastrop County and the Texas Forest Service and the state, we wouldn't be able to do what we did yesterday and throughout today. And we'll probably be here for another day or so, for sure, taking care of it."
Page wanted to make sure neighbors know that they're definitely going to see smoke in the air Tuesday.
"There are some hotspots that might flare up in the burn area, and you might see an acre or two of plume smoke come up," he said. "But that's the thing we hope to get out... you're going to see smoke today. There's no doubt about that."
Smithville Residents say they were better prepared to deal with this fire after surviving the Bastrop County Complex Fires in 2011 that was just a few miles down the road.
Officials said the fire, being called the Mount Pleasant Fire, burned mostly vegetation in a non-populated area.
"It's high fuel out there, with ravines out there," said Smithville Fire Chief James Elam. "The fire is...flaming up on us and getting in the dry trees. That's a problem."
By 10 p.m., Elam said the fire was 50 percent contained. By midmorning, it was 55 percent contained.
Two STARFlight helicopters helped head off the fire throughout the evening while hand crews on the ground set up a perimeter.
Seventeen firefighters from Bastrop County ESD 1 stayed on scene overnight working to contain the blaze. Crews from the Texas Forest Service were expected to arrive at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The Smithville Fire Department evacuated several residents along Copeland Hill Drive, in addition to people north of Dump Road to Upton Road earlier Monday. Local authorities began evacuating these residents about 6 p.m. The evacuation order was lifted about four hours later and everyone was allowed back into their homes.
Firefighters saved one home from being burned and said no other homes were in the immediate path. No injuries were reported.
A ridge of high pressure over the region was causing hot, dry and windy weather conditions. Winds were gusting between 20-30 mph in the area Monday afternoon.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.