Smithville business owners nervously keep eye on wildfire

For a bottled water company off of 71 in Smithville, Wednesday afternoon was spent cautiously keeping an eye on the massive wildfire in their backyard.

"This is bad.  This is going to be another huge problem for Bastrop," said Texas Rain CEO David Schraub.

The flames consumed entire trees in seconds.

By air, fire crews sprayed flame retardant on the hill and managed to suppress much of it.

Schraub is the CEO of Texas Rain, on Kellar Road.  It's the bottled water company's main production plant. He says the 2011 fire came near the facility as well. 

On Wednesday those memories came rushing back.

"I was thinking they better take care of it pretty quick because it's going to spread pretty fast. And it's going to be like 2011 if they don't stay on top of this thing," Schraub said.

With the power at his plant cut off, he says keeping the fence line wet is all he can do.

"The fire chief is one of my neighbors and he said just start wetting everything down now as fast as you can and keep it going," Schraub said.

Christian Grubb works for Texas Rain and he also works maintenance for the property.

"I've been up here since 1:00 yesterday and just moving the sprinklers down, keeping the ground moist," he said.

Grubb says he's going on no sleep... moving those sprinklers every hour.

In 2011, Grubb lost his house to that massive wildfire.  This time he lives further away... but he's nervous for his community.

"I'm really scared about all these people out there. I mean, this could really spread and consume a lot of people's houses, just destroy it... and then they would have to go through the same thing as I did," he said.

Grubb says in 2011 he was able to save his dog, but many of his goats and chickens died in that fire. 

Once again, the Austin Humane Society needs the public's help.  Tonight they got 50 cats and dogs from the Bastrop shelter, so the facility can prepare for the influx of animals they'll be getting during the fire.  The Austin Humane Society needs donations like dog bowls and crates, adopters and foster volunteers.
 

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