Bastrop County homeowner moving after latest fire

- The Royal Pines fire in Bastrop County is now 100 percent contained.
For a couple of hours Saturday night, the blaze was dangerously close to about 30 homes.
Families were evacuated as firefighters worked to keep the flames from damaging any structures.

Smoke still rises from scorched earth in Bastrop County, serving as a reminder to those who live nearby of the many times flames towered above their homes.

“The walls of hell... Just flames all the way up to the sky,” said Terri Williams, describing what she saw outside her window Saturday night.

Saturday was the second time her home was threatened by a fire in the Royal Pines area.

“You have no clue how sad it makes you, it's horrible,” Williams said. 

The first time was in 2011 when the most destructive fire in Texas history claimed two lives and more than 1,600 homes.

When Williams returned to her property after that fire, all that was left of her house was the frame and ashes.

“You cry, you cry, your cry. You can't change it. You can't do anything about it. You can just get up, pull yourself up by your big girl drawers, and go on down the road because it's happened,” said Williams. 

However, she never thought it would happen again, which is why she rebuilt her home on the same property.

“I love the area, I love the people, I've got a lot of really good friends here, but I can't deal with this, I can't deal with it anymore,” Williams said. 

Williams said Saturday it only took five minutes for the fire to spread across the front of her land. She was so close; authorities used her property as a command post.

“I had DPS, I had state troopers, I had Bastrop, everybody was everywhere,” said Williams. 

Firefighters said winter rain helped the grass grow before summer heat dried it out, making the brush perfect kindling for traveling embers. The wind helped the fire spread to 25 acres.

No homes were lost this time, but it was still too close for comfort.

“You stay a nervous wreck,” Williams said. 

It's enough to make her leave the Bastrop home she created more than 20 years ago.

“I can't live through this again,” said Williams.

A spokesman for the Texas A&M Forest Service said someone will be on scene for the next several days to keep an eye on any hotspots.             
The cause is undetermined and fire investigators expect it to stay that way.
They believe it was sparked by either a car parked on dry grass or a cigarette that wasn't properly extinguished.

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