Evacuations lifted for areas of Bastrop County threatened by wildfire

Bastrop County

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Bastrop County residents who live in the 600-800 block of Cottletown and in the vicinity of Park Road 1C and Cottletown Road were asked to evacuate Friday afternoon, due to a wildfire.

Off Highway 71, smoke could still be rising over the hill into Friday evening. Officials told KXAN that smoke is expected to linger.

Most residential roads in the area are back open, and neighbors can now return home. According to Texas A&M Forest Service, the fire is 90% contained as of 8:30 p.m. Friday. It spanned around 25 acres.

Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management says the wildfire threatened about 20 homes and was sparked by a car that was on fire.

A tow truck was dispatched to take away the damaged car, but officials didn’t say if anyone was injured or how the car caught fire.

Bulldozers with the Texas A&M Forest Service were at the scene, helping to create lines of containment around the flames to control them.

Bluebonnet Electric says it did shut off power in the area temporarily for firefighters’ safety. That power has since been restored.

Residents unable to return home can head to Smithville Community Center. It’s open for people to come cool off and grab water through 8 p.m.

Heart of the Pines will monitor the fire overnight and the Forest Service will be back Saturday morning.

Live Blog

Updates from the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management and Texas A&M Forest Service are as follows.

4:45 p.m.

Bastrop County OEM says the 25-acre fire is now 75% contained. A bulldozer from the Forest Service is working to widen and strengthen containment lines. The office says there is still large vegetation and stump holes burning within containment lines. Smoke will be in the area through the evening.

4:10 p.m.

Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire about 25 acres now and 50% contained. Bluebonnet Electric says power was restored to all members in the area near the fire.

3:30 p.m.

Bastrop County OEM says evacuations have been lifted, and residents can return home. Firefighters are still working the area, so keep an eye out for them on the roads, the office asks.

Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire is now 50% contained and stands at seven acres.

Although evacuations are lifted, the Smithville Recreation Center on Gazley Street is open for anyone not able to make it back to their homes. Residents can cool off in the A/C and grab some water.

No one has showed up yet, the center says, but they’ll be open late just in case.

2:45 p.m.

At this point, Bastrop County OEM says the fire is still active, and it’s around seven acres large and 25% contained. Bulldozers completed initial containment lines and are working to strengthen them, the office says.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative says fire officials determined homes on Hudson Road were no longer in danger. Crews are set to restore power to those members. However, crews are “de-energizing” power lines near Alum Creed Road, Park Road, Gotier Trace Road and Cottle Town Road at the request of fire officials, the cooperative says.

The cooperative also says the fire was reportedly spread from a vehicle fire.

2 p.m.

The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management says there are no reports of livestock needing to be moved. If a relocation is needed, the office says they have trailers ready. Firefighters are also reporting the fire moving northward, according to the office.

1:40 p.m.

The fire now has a name, the Regen Hill Fire, and it has burned seven acres and is 0% contained. The Smithville Community Center is now open and serving as a cooling center for those displaced by the fire.

Texas A&M Forest Service personnel say there’s a helicopter doing water drops with more resources on the way. The fire is “burning with a high rate of intensity and there is potential for spread,” officials said. Structures are being threatened.

1:15 p.m.

Emergency personnel expanded the evacuation area to include Park Road 1C from Cottletown west to Alum Creek.

1:05 p.m.

The fire is moving north for the area and road blocks are being set up.

12:50 p.m.

Residents in the 600-800 block of Cottletown need to evacuate.

12:40 p.m.

People that live near Park Road 1C and Cottletown Road need to get out of the area because of the fire.

Law enforcement personnel are on scene and are knocking on doors to tell people they need to go.

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