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Texas Fires Devastating The State – Bastrop State Park Damaged by Fire – Extreme Drought

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

Related Resources:
Gov. Perry: All Necessary State Resources Made Available to Protect Lives, Property
State park, historical buildings hit hard by Bastrop fire

Related Posts:
Wildfire Hiking Safety – What to do if Caught Outdoors in a Wildfire

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  • Family Wilds

    September 8, 2011

    Sad posts, but thanks for publishing it. I am from Central Texas (Austin), and most of my family is still there. At one point a few days ago, there were large fires within a mile of my mom's, sister's, cousin's, and grandmothers houses. They've all been fortunate so far, but there are so many people who have not been fortunate. I used to love going to Bastrop State Park; it's so sad to watch the state burn. Thanks again for posting, and best wishes for you in your neck of the woods.

  • Steven

    September 8, 2011

    Family Wilds,

    My thoughts are with your family and others in the Austin/Bastrop area. My neck of the woods is not currently threatened by fire…but we had our scare back in May when many people in Midland were evacuated…it sounds like the Bastrop fire is worse…I am praying for the people there.

  • Beth Wagenius

    September 10, 2011

    This is bad. I pray you get rain soon. Wildfires can be so devastating. Reminds me of the yearly wildfire season in MT. The forest does regenerate itself, but it is so hard to watch 1000's of acres and often homes being destroyed. Heartbreaking.

  • Brian & Ashley's Hiking Blog!

    September 11, 2011

    Very sad post, sorry to hear about all the continued wildfires. We hope and pray you get some much needed rain soon.

  • Anonymous

    September 11, 2011

    I pray for rain…unanswered….hopefully willie Nelson and others will help in raising funds for those who have lost everything…

  • Candyce Byrne

    September 16, 2011

    Please stop saying "pray for rain." There's no point in praying for rain. Reminds me of the pitiful archeological finds of human sacrifices in Peru and Greece and Britain and other places when people thought they could somehow avert an oncoming disaster if they just contacted their deities. God didn't send this drought. It is in part a result of natural weather patterns and in part the result of our befouling our own nest, something our mothers should have taught us not to do. We need to be talking to each other and determining how we are going to cope with our changing situation and how to stop making it worse. Pray for strength, for compassion, for understanding, for enlightenment . . . but don't waste your time praying for rain.

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