Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify there have been no new evacuation orders issued in Blanco County since Tuesday.
BLANCO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Agencies responded to a wildfire in Blanco County near the Hays County line that sparked Tuesday. It’s being called the Smoke Rider Fire. It’s not clear what started that fire, but nearby homeowners were told to evacuate Tuesday.
A public information officer for the Texas A&M Forest Service said about 30 structures, mostly homes, had been evacuated by around 5 p.m. Tuesday. No new evacuations were requested Wednesday, according to the Blanco County Office of Emergency Management.
Blanco County OEM said Wednesday at 11:38 p.m., crews began assessing damage, and early reports show nine structures were damaged or destroyed.
“Today’s [Tuesday’s] been crazy,” said Garrett Trahan, who lives off U.S. 290 near where crews closed the road.
He did not receive an evacuation order but packed up his truck just in case.
“Got my passports,” he said, as he showed us what was inside. “Got my crates for the animals and put all my important things in the truck.”
A temporary evacuation center was set up at Blanco Methodist Church at 61 Pecan St.
The fire is at the corner of FM 165 and Las Colinas in Blanco County. Both U.S. 290 and FM 165 are back open Wednesday, but the county urged drivers to watch out for firefighters and units working near roadways in the area.
Multiple fire departments from Blanco and Hays counties responded. As of 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, the fire had burned 800 acres and was at 60% containment.
“Wind has been sustained around 15-25 miles per hour out of the south, so that’s helping fuel this wildfire as well as the critically dry vegetation,” said Walter Flocke with the Texas A&M Forest Service.
“I’ve never seen it this dry out here before,” added Trahan.
The Wildland Task force was activated for the fire, according to the Hays County Office of Emergency Management.
PAWS Shelter of Central Texas evacuated its Dripping Springs location, which will be closed until further notice. All dogs and cats were moved to its Kyle Campus, Firehouse Animal Health Center in Belterra, and Stay-and-Play Pet Ranch. The animals will stay at those locations overnight until the shelter can reevaluate the situation on Wednesday morning.
The shelter also needs potential fosters on standby should longer-term placement be necessary. If interested, apply here.