Second Llano County wildfire burns 1,800 acres

Hill Country
County Road 308 fire in Llano County on July 18, 2018

LLANO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A second wildfire in Llano County has burned 1,800 acres, the Llano County Office of Emergency Management said Thursday at 8 a.m. As crews rotated out that morning, the Austin Fire Department said it believed this will be a “long-term fire” and will transition to having the state organize firefighting efforts.

On Thursday, the Llano County Office of Emergency Management posted an urgent call for people to donate gas, after an expected delivery didn’t make it.  “We need 500 gallons of gas by 9:00 am this morning. PLEASE HELP US,” it wrote on Facebook. Around 7:30 a.m. it said its gas needs were met thanks to help from the public and other agencies. 

The second fire along County Road 308 was, at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, an estimated 150 acres, jumping just two hours later to a fire larger than the nearby 775-acre fire south of Horseshoe Bay.

The CR 308 fire is at 60 percent containment. The road is closed at State Highway 71 to everyone but emergency vehicles.

Tuesday evening, officials warned the nearby fire at Ranch Road 962 and SH 71 was expected to reach the highway.

“There’s so many dry cedar trees out there, they’re just blowing up,” ranch owner Vicki Moore said.

Her family has been ranching in the area since the 1850s. “When we see a fire in this area, we immediately get on the phone and we start calling all of our neighbors,” she said.

So far the fire has not injured anyone or damaged homes nestled on nearby hilltops. Otto Rusche, a 38-year veteran of the Llano Volunteer Fire Department, said the terrain is the biggest challenge to fighting the fire.

Along with fire crews, volunteers are bringing relief. :The citizens have donated water, Gatorade, snacks, cooling towels, Chapstick, sunscreen… We’ve got more supplies on the way we’ve got ice coming it’s really been a huge relief to know we have these they need this stuff now,” said Amanda Barnett with Kingsland VFD.

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