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Parts of Central Texas are on fire.

One of the fires is about 20 minutes from were I live, in Spicewood, but not one of the big ones. We watching the one in Spicewood very closely. The wind is blowing south, that's a good thing for us, but you know how the wind direction can change direction anytime. Between where I live and Spicewood is rural country, not very populated - lots of ranch land and super dry.

Bastrop is the worst right now, about 75-100 miles from here. 14,000+ acres burned, 400 homes destroyed, fire is 16 miles long and six miles wide, 0% contained at this time, completely out of control. It has jumped the Colorado River twice.

Another one is burning in Lakeway, about 40 miles from here, somewhat contained but still burning - heavily populated area. Lake Travis is right next to it so the helicopters are able to get water from the lake and drop on the fire. Not sure how contained that one is.

The streams are all dried up so there is no water to fight the fires from the streams and some of the arms of the Colorado river are completely dry too.

I have put all of our valuables, personal items in one area that we can grab in case we have to leave in a hurry. Although the fires are several miles away from us, it is better to be prepared now.

Our vehicles are gassed up and ready to go.

We'll take the pets, boxes of photos, original documents, blankets, gloves, flashlights and drive the opposite direction of the fires.

If anyone lives in the Austin and surrounding areas, be prepared. When you get an order to evacuate, you will not have time to gather your most important items.

This is scary, to say the least.
  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    How awful Lori - I hope that all the fires will be under control soon.

    Wow 400 homes. That is devastating - horrible to imagine.

    You are so right about being prepared to leave -

    Stay safe and keep us up to date as you can.

    My prayers for all the dear folks in Texas.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      It's like a monsoon here in South Carolina (no joke)!

      I think we are getting all the rain that the Gulf coast was hit with.
      Been raining (steady but not heavy) here in NW Alabama since yesterday morning...
      Professional Googler
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  • Profile picture of the author riku
    I hope the fire gets under control by the time it reaches by you. I wish for your safety.

    Did they release any news on how the fire started?
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  • Profile picture of the author ballparkbob
    Amazing. We got hit by an earthquake and a hurricane in Philadelphia, of all places within the past couple of weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Best of luck to you...

    Is that a different Colorado River other than the big one that runs through the SW?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Good luck, Lori, to you and all of Texas. At least you are smart enough to think ahead. There will be plenty who think "it won't happen to me" and won't think about being prepared until it's too late. Don't forget to take your business computer.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      I thought we had left wildfires behind us when we moved away from Southern California to Texas, but clearly this isn't the case. Today, even the humidity levels are "Californian" - 14%. :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Lori - when I lived in Idaho I was in the high desert. I had everything organized for immediate flight year round. I had to bug out fast a few times. There was a fire once that looked like it was only a few miles away, but I got up on one of the plateaus and saw it was around 35 miles from us. So I went home and told my ex we could relax - it was too far away.

    When I told him it was at Jump Creek he told me to keep the stuff ready and one of us needed to stay awake until it was under control. He had been a wild fire worker when he was younger and figured he was just enjoying some drama.

    The wind stayed south and the next day I took a drive to see what burned. I drove 50 miles of highway and never reached the end of that burn when I turned around. All in one night. If the wind had changed - my house would have been kindling.

    Do not underestimate the distance a fire can travel - especially in drought. Stay safe. If that fire is less than 100 miles from you, keep informed hourly - if it's less than 50 and you can leave for awhile, do so. Don't wait for an evac notice. If someone else panicks or something goes wrong in front of you on an evac route - you don't want to have to deal with it. 50 miles. Go.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      This came on the news here in the UK at about 3am this morning.

      I truly hope you all stay safe in the affected area.

      Lately, it's just one disaster after another in various parts of the world. Makes you count your blessings living in this part of the UK. Nothing ever happens here. Well, there was one earth tremor here back in about 1981 which registered just about 1 on the Richter Scale.

      As others have mentioned, don't leave it until the last second to get your valuable possessions secured in a safe location. If you live within 100 miles of this huge fire, better to be prepared than sorry later.

      My heart goes out to you all in Texas.

      Kindest regards,

      Pete Walker
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    Thank you all for your support.

    I just heard the areas burned are the size of Connecticut.

    We have been watching the local news and are ready to leave in a moment's notice.

    Kurt, the Colorado River here in not the one that runs through CO, NV, AZ. This is a smaller river, they dam it in several places to make lakes.

    Thanks Dennis - laptop battery is charged, I'll make sure I have a full battery and the air card.

    Annie, you live in Texas too. I hope you are safe. There were some bad fires in the Ft. Worth area too.

    Hi Pete. Wow, the fires are on the news in the UK.

    No mention of how the fire started, but it wouldn't take much. We have had several small fires around here caused by a trailer behind a truck that sparked, tractors backfiring when farming, people throwing cigarettes out of the car.

    There were several warnings yesterday, asking people not to BBQ on the holiday.

    Thanks Sal. My husband stayed up most of the night and I got up early. You're right about wind conditions and how fast a fire can burn. We've been keeping our eyes on the wind, lucky now there is no wind. It was really windy over the weekend and kept changing directions.

    Glad I work from home. It's nerve wracking but would be even moreso if I worked outside the home.

    Good advice not to wait for evacuation orders. I don't want to end up in a traffic jam trying to get out of here.

    We have a 4 wheel drive Jeep and if necessary, we'll take the scenic route.

    Crazy floods, earthquakes, weird weather all over the place.

    Thank you all so much for your kind words.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Out where I lived fires were usually started by lightning and 4 wheelers that spark. 2 fires out there were less than a mile away and everyone with 4WD was out pitching sand on them while waiting for fire teams. If we hadn't they would have gone out of control before pro help could arrive. You look around and figure, it's just sage, what can happen but those fires travel really fast.

    They're finding out now that fire isn't always a bad thing for a forest. Before humans started intervening in everything on the planet, fires would clear forests that were becoming choked and allow for renewal growth. They set them purposely now sometimes (called controlled burns) when the forests start choking.

    With all the idiots out there that don't think about what they are doing, they don't always need to do controlled burns. People go out and light camp fires in high winds, throw cigarettes, drive over dry brush with incorrectly maintained vehicles that spark -- you name it. In some places you can get fined if you get caught smoking even out in the middle of nowhere because people throw their butts out while still burning.

    It's hard to believe that adults have become so stupid that they can't even figure out that fire burns dry timber and brush. As much as I hate regulation I'm starting to think that people should have to be certified to go off the sidewalk. No forest safety certification - keep your butt in a state park if you want to go out so someone can babysit you.

    Up in Northern WA they just said to hell with it and closed off roads so you have to hike in if you want out. That keeps the city trippers that throw trash, burn things down, and get mauled by the animals out of there and lets the serious mountaineers and hikers still enjoy the wildernesses. In California they just close the land down period. You can look at it, but you aren't going to step into it without a substantial fine. I understand fully why it's being done but makes me angry that responsible people can no longer enjoy nature because of the cud chewers.

    LOL - can you tell this subject is on my hot list? Rant over.

    Glad to hear you are okay, Lori.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Lori, thanks for the update....I know central Texas can get very dry, not like the eastern part of the state. I used to work down there many years ago (1980's) and remember how great looking the Hill Country was. I hope they contain this thing fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    Hi Bruce. The hill country is beautiful. Really dry right now, but in better conditions, green rolling hills, huge beautiful oak trees, lakes every where. So you haven't been back since the 80s? Long time.

    I heard today that this is as bad as the dust bowl.

    Bastrop fire still 0% contained. It has consumed many, many acres and destroyed hundreds of homes.

    The pink glow from the morning sunrise in the distance is something I have never seen -- beautiful sunrise but very eerie.

    Sal, I can relate - the fire in Cedar Park was allegedly arson, started by teenagers. People have become very careless. I remember hearing about controlled burns when I was a kid. Sure seems like a good idea. I think environmentalists might have put a stop to that, but if it is a preventative measure - one that can save lives and homes, it would be hard to argue against controlled burning.

    I had no idea Cali shut down parks. I can certainly understand why, but it is a shame. There always seems to be one bad apple, doesn't there?

    The fire closest to us is 80% contained. We're watching the one in Bastrop that is 0% contained. Fire can move fast, especially under these conditions.

    Thanks warriors. I'll keep you posted on what's happening here in Central Texas.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Lori - Cali didn't shut down parks - they've shut down a lot of public lands. They still have their little postage stamps that they call parks - pay to get in and crawl all over everyone else. The national lands are still open, but wherever they can find to shut land off to people, they are doing it. It stinks to have to drive 50 miles just to get away from the crowds for a day. There was one park near my sister that I climbed under the fence once to walk the dog. It was 6 bucks to drive in. When I got in and saw how outrageously small it was and how many people were cooped up there, it made me angry. That should have been a free park. That state is just too crowded to get away at all. They have the Northern country that you can still walk around in - but you aren't going to be alone much. Not at all like where I am and can walk for days without running into anyone else. You take your crowd with you or you are alone. Love it.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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