Bastrop first responders brace for more wildfires
AUSTIN, Texas - It's been busy for Bastrop county first responders. First, a wildfire broke out in the Tahitian Village area. No structures there were damaged. Then there was a second one began from a lightning strike, in Bastrop State Park.
“When we're getting that heating and then we end up with thunderstorms coming through, there's a lot more probability that ignition happening by a lightning strike,” said Jamie Creacy, park superintendent.
You can recall major wildfires like in 2011 and the Hidden Pines fire in 2015, but this time first responders are trying to prevent another big fire.
They've been getting rid of vegetation in some areas, something they call fuel mitigation.
“There are two fires I know of that burned in Tahitian Village that burned into areas that were maintained, so they didn't grow to be any bigger,” said Kari Hines, wildland urban interface specialist at Texas A&M Forest Service.
The Tahitian Village fire was put out, and crews say they are letting the state park fire burn, since it is 100 percent contained and they are letting it burn out. But emergency officials aren't getting too comfortable.
They're preparing for anything Mother Nature swings their way. If local resources aren't enough, they have a plan b.
“It's very common for the state to bring in a single engine air tanker it's like a crop duster. Those put down a retardant mixture on vegetation that slows down fire. The larger air tankers like DC-10, or V-LAT (very large air tanker), is brought in in very extreme circumstances,” said Hines.
More importantly the best way to fight a fire, is to not have one in the first place. Residents should know there is a burn ban.
“I just think looking up what a homeowner can do, firewise.org for preparation is very important,” said Hines.
It's important to make sure your cigarettes are completely put out, try to also try keep your lawn mowed. There are several tips for home and landowners on firewise.org.