Another round of Texas wildfires have sparked up over the last couple of weeks. It seems the continued drought and high winds have caused some devastating results. According to the Texas Forest Service Firefightters have responded to over 305 different wildfires in the last seven days. Among those fires nearly 700 homes have been destroyed in past 48 hours. (Update @10:30 am 9/8/11: Bastrop Fire has destroyed 1,400 homes) All but Three of the 254 Texas Counties are under burn bans due to extreme fire conditions.
|Possum Kingdom Lake – Photo Credit: Texas Forest Service|
According to the Texas State Governor’s office, local and state firefighters have responded to more than 20,900 fires since the beginning of wildfire season. Those fires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and burned more than 3.6 million acres.
|Cathedral Rock Fire – Photo Credit: Texas Forest Service|
Now I understand that Bastrop State Park, 30 miles southeast of Austin, has been hit by fire. Most of the park has burned…only 100 of the 6,000 acres in park remain untouched. Bastrop State Park is home to an isolated forest of Lobolly pines, often called the Lost Pines. It is unsure at this time weather or not the forest will survive the damage.
|Fire Raging in Bastrop State Park – Photo Credit: Alan Fisher, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department|
|Downtown Austin with Bastrop Fire in the background – Photo Credit: Unkown|
Nearby Buescher State Park is closed but remains unharmed as of this date. Other Texas State Parks in the area including Palmetto State Park and Monument Hill State Historic Site remain open at this time.
Texas Governor Rick Perry put out this statement:
The wildfire situation in Texas is severe and all necessary state resources are being made available to protect lives and property. I urge Texans to take extreme caution as we continue to see the devastating effects of sweeping wildfires impacting both rural and urban areas of the state. Our thoughts and prayers are with the first responders who are working around the clock to keep Texans out of harm’s way, and with the families across our state who are threatened by these wildfires.”
|Air drop on the Cathedral Rock Fire – Photo Credit: Texas Forest Service|
I have lived in Texas my entire life…I have never seen, nor heard of fires being this bad. We are in desperate need of rain. Our lakes and reservoirs are at critical lows. To the point that it is effecting municipal water supply. Texas is a large state and we need even larger rains to quench the earth and refill our lakes. Please pray for rain in Texas.
|The mighty Brazos River – Dry under extreme drought – Photo Credit: Earl Nottingham|
|Lake Travis, Dry due to extreme drought. Photo Credit: © 2011 CHASE A. FOUNTAIN|
|Texas Burn Ban Map|
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