wildfire

NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou / National Park Service

A wildfire that began Monday afternoon, caused by a downed power line and strong winds, continues to burn in Big Bend National Park near Panther Junction.

About 50 fighters were on the scene Thursday.

“A combination of park firefighters, Los Diablos firefighters, and some engines from our local Texas fire and EMS in Terlingua worked on the blaze,” said park spokesman David Elkowitz. “They have contained it to the South side of the road going to Rio Grande Village and it’s approximately 1537 acres.” The Los Diablos firefighters are from across the border. 

UPDATE Saturday 7:00 pm: Bastrop County officials say they have stopped the Hidden Pines fire in its tracks, not allowing it to burn any more acreage or structures Saturday. After falling to 40% contained overnight Friday into Saturday, the Texas Forest Service says the fire is again 50% contained.

County officials say some evacuated families will be allowed to return to their homes, with more areas being opened Sunday.

At last check, Smithville's Hidden Pines Fire has claimed 40 home structures and burned over 4,000 acres. While the fire is 25 percent contained, officials say the low humidity and dry conditions may fuel the fire for a week or more. 

With scores of firefighters from across the state coming to Central Texas to help battle the blaze, officials are requesting donations of supplies, time and money in the days ahead. Below is a list of outlets accepting assistance, as well as a map of shelters for residents, pets and livestock displaced by the Hidden Pines Fire. 

Ryan E. Poppe

On top of the hill overlooking the Hidden Pine Valley, an area just west of Smithville, are the charred remains of pine trees destroyed by the 2011 Labor Day wildfire that ravaged more than 34-thousand acres, destroyed over 16-hundred homes and took the lives of two people.

From Texas StandardResidents of Bastrop County are battling flames again in the second crop of wildfires in the past five years.


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