Jonestown brush fire contained; evacuation lifted

Travis County

A neighborhood in Jonestown was evacuated for a couple of hours after a brush fire broke out in the area Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started around 3:20 p.m. along Easy Street, which is off of Farm to Market 1431. East Street runs toward Lake Travis. Part of FM 1431 is currently blocked while crews work the fire. 

Numerous law enforcement agencies knocked on doors to let people know about the voluntary evacuation, which impacted around two dozen homes.

Travis County ESD No. 1 says the fire came close to a boat repair shop but firefighters were able to cut it off before getting to it. 

Travis County ESD No. 1 says the fire was contained as of 5:15 p.m. and residents were allowed back in around 6 p.m. STAR Flight assisted with water drops.

Numerous counties across Texas, including Travis County, are under burn bans due to an increased fire danger. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a drought-related disaster declaration, which covers 72 counties in the Panhandle and Central Texas.

“I don’t think people really realize the danger that we’re in right now with the dry conditions, low humidity, and we have a lot of underbrush that is dead under here,” said ESD No. 1 Fire Chief Donnie Norman on scene of Tuesday’s fire. “A small little spark can escalate in just a small amount of time.”

Norman said even though the fire only burned several acres, resources were called in right away.

“We are not waiting until the fire escalates to 100 acres before we call resources,” Norman said. “We escalated this to above what we would normally do, had the conditions been different or we weren’t surrounded by all these homes.”

Norman says Central Texas likely has a rough fire season ahead. He’s asking people to take extra precaution and take burn bans seriously.

“I still see people that are throwing cigarettes out. I still see people that are wanting to cook, and they get upset because we can’t let them burn their brush,” Norman said. “People need to be very cognizant of the fact that we live in an area that we have a lot of brush. We have a lot of the topography here that can burn very quickly.”

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