BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — While some parts of the Hill Country saw rain early Tuesday morning, the area that is burning at Inks State Lake Park, unfortunately, didn’t see any helpful precipitation.
Crews, however, still managed to make headway. As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, the Texas Forest Service says the Park Road Fire is 100 percent and still sitting at 557 acres burned.
A handful of residents who have not been allowed back home were able to return at 5 p.m. Tuesday with proof of residence.
David and Anita Willard drove from Houston to check out their property near Inks Lake. They discovered that the fire destroyed their log cabin, a trailer and an Airstream camper. They said they heard the wildfire started on their neighbor’s property from machinery going through tall grass.
This wildfire is the fourth that firefighters from the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department have helped with in the last three weeks. Their hard work has not gone unnoticed by the community. Dozens of people have brought donations of food, water, toiletries and other essentials to the fire station, which firefighter Melissa Meeks said is greatly appreciated. “At a time when we’re going through our supplies so quickly, it’s just been amazing how blessed we’ve been by our community,” she said.
Park Road 4 and County Road 116 are still closed but are expected to reopen at 9 p.m.
Texas Parks and Wildlife plans to reopen Inks Lake State Park on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 a.m.
Family’s return home is bittersweet
Several families were allowed to return home Tuesday afternoon after being evacuated Sunday.
Jeff Anderson, his sister Rose Collins and his brother-in-law were just some of the few people who ended up displaced following the Parks Road fire.
“Look at this,” said Anderson pointing to the burned land. “This was all green you couldn’t see anything.”
The road home for the family was bittersweet.
“There’s nothing here,” said Anderson. “It’s different, it’s going to be definitely different.”
As soon as the family returned home, they quickly got to work.
“I was looking for [our] cows,” said Anderson. “The first thing we checked was the water, check on the cats, and if we had power.”
Anderson says they have two cows and haven’t had any luck locating them.
“I was looking around for cows, I didn’t see them. They must of got away,” he said.
When they evacuated on Sunday, the family grabbed whatever they could.
“First thing I grabbed was my husband’s laptop because he works from home, then I went to grab my laptop and thought, ‘Well, we can replace the laptops, but my diamonds [my husband] won’t buy me anymore, so I got those,” said Rose Collins, Anderson’s sister.
Collins credits fire crews as the reason the home wasn’t damaged.
“To me, it’s not as important as us and our animals, but it’s nice to have a home to come to,” she said.
The family says all they can do now is prepare themselves in case it happens again.
“People don’t notice the firemen until something like this happens so thank you and thank you in advance for the next fire,” she said.