LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — A wildfire broke out Saturday in Liberty Hill near Tower Road, prompting evacuations and responses from over 20 different agencies.
The wildfire, referred to as the San Gabriel Fire, was estimated to be nearly 500 acres as of Sunday morning, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The fire is now 75% contained.
Lake Georgetown and the surrounding trails are closed for recreation until further notice, according to the city of Georgetown. Officials ask people to avoid the area.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell issued a statement about the fire Sunday afternoon, saying firefighters are making progress to contain the fire.
“Thus far, there have been 12 DC-10 loads of retardant and 50 loads of water dumped in the area,” the statement said. “I know that it’s been a great inconvenience for Lake Georgetown to be closed, but this is about protecting lives and property, and we appreciate everyone’s patience while crews work diligently to put out this fire.”
He said crews would work through the night, “as well as tomorrow as needed.”
Crews’ goals for Sunday are to hold the northern edge of the fire where it was established last night and to build a fireline on the southern edge, the forest service said Sunday.
Residents of 200 homes were evacuated earlier in the evening but were permitted to return home at about Saturday night, according to a tweet from the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management.
Santa Rita Middle School was opened as a shelter to those who did evacuate earlier in the day.
The Texas A&M Forest Services sent multiple aircraft to fight the fire. A DC-10, four air tankers and three “fire bosses” (a small turboprop plane used to fight fires).
So far there are no reports of loss of life or any structures that have burned. Crews said with the drought and dry conditions, people need to be very cautious to avoid possibly starting wildfires.
Kimberly Kaschalk with Texas A&M Forestry said that as of Friday, there were 205 fires reported in the last seven-day period across Texas. That information does not include any fires reported on Saturday.
Saturday morning, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration in North Texas for 10 counties, including Somervell County, in response to the Chalk Mountain Fire that burned more than 6,700 acres.