Bastrop County fire 100 percent contained, braces for second possible battle

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas— Widespread rainfall is helping and hurting residents in Bastrop County.

After hundreds of man-hours and around-the-clock work, the worst of the Hidden Pines fire appears to be all but over. The fire is now 100 percent contained—however, there is a new battle unfolding: rain.

Bastrop County officials said they projected this being an issue.

"It's one of the major hidden, detriments of wildfire," Mike Fisher, the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator, said. "A rainfall that follows that, erosion is the byproduct of wildfire all across the nation and certainly here."

Fisher said when wildfires occur in erodible soils, such as the soil in Bastrop County, the result of such changes the landscape for months and months.

Fisher said that the seed material from the soil is not only scorched from the intense heat of the flames, they are then washed away by the rain.

"Combine that with the fact that we are moving into dominate season rather than growing season," Fisher said. "Revegetation will be slow in returning.”

Not only will erosion affect those trying to regrow crops, but it will also impact those trying to rebuild.

"All these long-term effects are concerns of mine and concerns of the county officials," Fisher said, adding "but no concern is bigger than the well-being of those families that have been displaced. We've got to do something quickly about that."