As of 6 pm tonight, the Old Potato Fire in Bastrop county is 50% contained and basically under control. Evacuation orders for most areas were lifted just minutes ago, only those living on Herron Trail, near the source of the fire, will need to stay away until firefighters can evaluate the neighborhood Thursday morning. Roads near the fire are now open.
Fire officials down-sized the fire to 320 acres after aerial surveys were completed. The fire was controlled quickly and no homes were lost. Firefighters say light winds, higher humidity and the immediate availability of firefighting planes all combined to hold this fire down. No cause has been determined.
The new fire erupted just one month after a tragic fire destroyed 1,500 homes and killed two in the county, and brought new fears and stress on the people of Bastrop.
October 5th, 9 am
Overnight 100 firefighters and six DC-10 airplanes kept the Old Potato Fire in check. Flames scorched 1,000 acres beginning yesterday afternoon and forced the evacuation of 30 homes. According to KXAN.com a number of families voluntarily evacuated, a sign of the nervousness that has overtaken a county devasted just one month ago.
Firefighters say light winds, higher humidity and the availability of those firefighting planes all combined to hold this fire down and avoid the destruction of any homes. While the fire appears controlled for now, the dry conditions caused by the worst drought in Central Texas history still make for a difficult and challenging task.
October 4th, 9 pm
Now called "The Old Potato Fire," the latest wildfire in Bastrop county grew to 1,000 acres by 8pm and forced the evacuation of 50 homes. Still, no homes have been lost, and firefighters have the blaze 25% contained.
According to the Texas Forest Service the difference today is air support. Three DC-10 tankers attacked the fire early, keeping it from expanding as quickly as last month's fire. At that time the firefighting planes were busy on other fires and unable to help immediately.
This is the second time many of those evacuated have been forced to leave their homes according to a report from KXAN.com.
Photos of the fire show huge plumes of smoke rising against a stark blue sky. It's a sight most of Central Texas could do without.
October 4th, 4pm
Bastrop is on fire again. The Bastrop Sheriff's office reports evacuations of about a dozen homes are underway in Herron Trail, and RM 2336 has been closed. The fire is burning just north of Camp Swift, south of U.S. highway 290. Helicopters and planes are dropping water on the flames, so far no homes have been lost as the fire continues to move north.
The fire began about 2pm near Oak Hill Cemetery road. As of 4:45pm over 600 acres were burning, no cause has been identified.