Bitter homecoming begins for victims of Hidden Pines Fire

For more than 60 property owners this was a sad homecoming Tuesday morning. Joshua and Amy Douglas were among those allowed to return only to find they and their two daughters no longer have a house to live in.

"Thats a hard one to put into words, the hardest part for us is our children, when you take your children in there and they see that everything they had is gone, for us we are able to cope with it ... for them its been very difficult everything they had everything they loved was destroyed,"said Joshua Douglas.

The Douglas family wasn't home at the time they were returning from up state New York where they were doing volunteer work. Now they are the ones in need.

"Its a total mix of emotions one minute you're extreme sad and the next minute you are extremely grateful so its hard to describe," said Douglas.

The random cruelty of the hidden Pines fire can clearly be seen. Along with the homes the fire claimed Cars, trucks and even boats. It got so hot aluminum car wheels melted.

Ironically, antique fire equipment was spotted at one house that was burned down. While much has been destroyed the flames somehow spared several homes on Stillhallow Rd.

The Wilderness Ridge Camp was also hit by the hidden pines fire. Only one metal building is still standing, although the inside, is  also a total loss. At the camp--and throughout the burn zone there is a lot to clean up- but county officials asked property owners to wait on doing that.

"This is not the day to begin the cleanup process, we are going to ask for that to be delayed until at least tomorrow so that we are really focusing on people today," said Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape.

There are still hot spots. The threat of fire flaring up again is why county officials really wanted to wait one more day before the re entry plan started. Fire crews are hoping the rain that's forecasted for later in the week will bring relief and help extinguish some of the hotspots.

"It will help us to shrink the amount of  resources that are needed, but again I want to emphasize with a little bit of rain does not mean that its all going to go out," said Blue Fire team spokesman Mark Morales.

That is why Utility crews continue to cut away damaged trees  from power lines. Bluebonnet Electric has spent almost $3 million so far repairing lines and cutting down tress. They've identified more than 7,000 trees that have have to be removed because they pose threats to to the electrical grid in the area as well as  to all those who will soon start rebuilding .

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