Bastrop County woman thanks firefighter for saving her home

Fire crews have contained 80% of the Royal Pine Fire that started Saturday evening in Bastrop.

On Sunday crews continued efforts with mop-up operations in the area, guarding against any potential flare-ups at the site of a wildfire that has charred 25 acres of land.

As Erica Thompson peers outside of her backyard she said she can’t help but think how close she was to losing everything. “To see them working so hard putting 150% into their jobs and really caring that we stay here and that our house stay’s here and that we’re protected it just touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes,” said Thompson.

The Royal Pine Fire was right in Thompson’s backyard Saturday evening.

“When we were out here last night you could hear the crackling of the fire and you could hear the tree’s falling,” said Thompson.

Thompson said she could see the flames were quickly inching up to her home. “The dozer line went completely around from the state park all the way up our hill and that is what saved our house,” she said.

Thompson and her family along with other residents had to be evacuated to a shelter but were able to return home later Saturday night. “Me and my husband pretty much decided we weren’t going to sleep last night because we were worried that embers might get on our roof but when we saw the firefighters just parked here and they were posted here not leaving at 1 o’clock morning we felt reassured and went to sleep at that time,” said Thompson.

While residents slept the Texas Forest Service worked alongside Bastrop Firefighters on the front lines of the fire. Helicopters also began their fight from above helping with aerial water drops.

“We were able to mobilize dozers and helicopters to focus on the fire while they mobilized to help residents,” said Clay Bales Staff Forester 4 with the Texas A & M Forest Service.

The scene of the wildfire is reminiscent of the 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire that occurred in the same area and was named the most destructive fire in Texas history destroying 1,673 homes.

Thompson said even though the community has been devasted by fire in the past the Bastrop community is resilient. “Of course these things are horrible and catastrophic especially the prior fire but it really shows how much people love each other and how much they pull together,” said Thompson.