CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Cedar Park released a drone video showing the damage from a 50-acre brush fire Tuesday near the high-trafficked area of Parmer Lane and East Whitestone Boulevard.
The Parmer Lane Fire has burned an estimated 50 acres and is now 60% percent contained, the Texas A&M Forest Service said Wednesday. The Forest Service said crews made progress in building a containment line around the fire.
The Cedar Park video, posted on social media Wednesday, showed how the fire moved through grass and brush and an apartment building at Bexley at Silverado apartment complex.
The fire destroyed one apartment building and damaged three other buildings in the complex.
The City of Cedar Park said approximately 300 apartment units, 95 townhomes and multiple businesses in the area were evacuated.
The video shared from the city shows how the fire jumped over the road, burning trees and vegetation near the apartment complex and subsequent neighborhood. The video also shows the apartment buildings damaged by the fire.
Flying drones during a wildfire
The Texas A&M Forest Service said flying a drone during an active wildfire response can “pose a direct threat to lives and property.”
The Cedar Park drone footage appears to be taken Wednesday morning as crews were working to contain the fire from the ground.
In a press release, the Forest Service said flying a drone near a wildfire can “cause a serious or [a] fatal accident if it collides with firefighting aircraft.”
If a drone is seen near the fire, aircraft will be grounded for safety, which might result in wildfires becoming larger. Pilots have no way of detecting drones in the sky other than seeing them, the Forest Service said.
A firefighting aircraft uses retardant drops as a way “to cool flames for faster control by firefighters and to provide direct protection of homes and other structures,” the Forest Service said.