Local volunteers helping firefighters battle the blaze

SMITHVILLE, Texas— As the Hidden Pines Fire continues to burn, local agencies are asking for help from larger organizations. As those extra resources filter in, local volunteers are playing a large role in helping crews who are actively fighting the flames.

Fire crews continue to fight the seemingly never-ending blaze in Smithville. Four days into the fire, more help has arrived from the Southern Incident Management Team.

“There's a lot of complexity here, so that's the reason they asked us to come in and provide support for the local people here,” Terry Krasko, Spokesperson with the Southern Incident Management Team, said.

The team will take charge with logistics and keep the mission on track.

“The operation is getting large and there are a lot of moving parts so what we want to do is draw things together,” Krasko said.

While action is unfolding in the brush, nurses from St. David's make sandwiches for first responders. Kim Barker, a registered nurse, is one of them.

“We’re bringing out lunches, we're going to do that all through the weekend and hopefully through next week,” Barker said.

It's a deed the nurses feel needs to be done.

“Imagine, they're out there since this has started and have not been home,” Barker said.

This fire hits close to home for Barker. Her two co-workers lost their homes in the 2011 wildfire. She hurts for Bastrop County.

“The 2011 wildfires, and then this past year with flooding, and then here they're going through it again,” she said.

With the Blue Team now helping out, volunteers eager to serve, and courageous firefighters, Bastrop County can rise from the ashes.

“For the firefighters, God bless them and I just hope that they’re safe and they listen to themselves, listen to their bodies,” Barker said.

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