WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — Eight homes were forced to evacuate Wednesday night due to a wildfire in Wimberley, named the Hermosa Fire. On top of those eight, 45 homes voluntarily evacuated.

Vic Forsyth was one of the residents who evacuated. He said he went to check the mail, saw smoke billowing, then went to check if someone had turned it in.

“I thought it was going to die down, but after that it just kind of took off,” Forsyth said.

Many of the evacuees stayed overnight at First Baptist Church Wimberley, which welcomed anyone who was displaced because of the fire.

The church has a partnership with Hays County as the designated shelter for incidents near Wimberley.

Pastor Scott Tidwell said the church was able to open its doors within 30 minutes of getting the call, welcoming in anyone in need and reminding people that this may not be the last wildfire they see.

“Well you need to be ready, you need to have a kit ready to go so that if you have to leave your home, you’ll have some clothes, some necessities and especially some medicine,” Tidwell said. “Everybody needs to have a go kit that they can just grab and go with. So just don’t stress out over it, I know that’s a tough message, but there will be people there to help, all over Central Texas there to be taken care of.”

Tidwell said at least 24 people stayed overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning, and a couple families stayed in RVs in front of the property. He said they are hopeful the families will get to return home Thursday.

Thursday night, the Hays County Office of Emergency Management said mandatory evacuations were for:

  • 250-850 block of Bluff View Drive
  • 160-428 block of Hermosa Paloma

Also on Thursday night, Texas A&M Forest Service said level two evacuations (voluntary evacuations) were in place for:

  • 950-1230 block of Water Park Road
  • 700-1212 block of Winding Trail Road

Hays County said leaving may be the best option for everyone’s safety at this time.