HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — City of Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell wants everyone to go hug a firefighter after the forward progress of a wildfire was halted shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday in Hays County.
As the Oak Grove Fire burned down a home and forced evacuations of approximately 30 others in an area near Kyle and San Marcos, Mitchell said the teamwork of fire departments from all corners of the Austin area was exemplary and on-point to get the fire’s momentum stopped.
“This has been a massive, multi-jurisdictional response,” he said. “There are so many different crews responding. It’s all hands on deck. We’ve seen it through the years in Hays County and other areas. Whenever something like this happens, folks come in from all over and respond immediately with no concern for their own personal schedules, interest or safety.”
In an update Sunday evening, the Texas A&M Forest Service said the fire is an estimated 400 acres and is 50% contained.
Mitchell said the fire reached Bluffview Drive in Wimberley after jumping the Blanco River and was approximately two miles from the Hays City Store, located at the junction of Ranch-to-Market Road 150 and Old Kyle Road.
On his Facebook page, Mitchell posted updates throughout the afternoon and evening and listed these departments that had a hand in helping keep the fire from advancing:
- South Hays Fire Department
- Hays County Sheriff’s Office
- Hays County Emergency Medical Services
- San Marcos FD
- Wimberley FD
- Travis County
- Kyle FD
- Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS)
- TAMFS with dozers, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, large air tankers and the Texas Division of Emergency Management Region 6 Section Chief
- TDEM District Coordinator 18A New Braunfels. (SC Region 6) DDC 12-Austin
Crews were battling the blaze into Saturday night, and Mitchell said while the forward progress of the fire has been stopped, the fire isn’t out and it’s not considered fully contained.
He also mentioned the terrain of the area makes it difficult for crews to fight fires because roads don’t go straight through the area. Vehicles have to drive around the area to get anywhere.
“It’s a rural community in that area and a lot of the road infrastructure travels far around the Blanco River,” he said. “For crews to get where they need to be, sometimes it’s a 20-30 minute drive. That has caused quite a bit of difficulty.”
With the fire being fought from all angles both on land and by air with helicopters and tankers, Mitchell said he’s always thankful for those who put their lives on the line in times like this.
“We are eternally grateful for these first responders for coming out to help preserve our land, property and lives,” he said.