Crews continue to fight Hermosa fire near Wimberley

The Hermosa fire continues to burn. It started in the River Mountain Ranch area between Bluff View and the Blanco River on Wednesday.

As of Thursday evening, the Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire has burned about 60 acres. They say any conflicting information from other sources could be because some areas are burned and some aren't, making it hard to calculate. 

The fire is about 35 percent contained.

As of Friday evening, evacuation orders had been lifted and residents are allowed to return to their homes. County officials are asking returning residents to use extreme caution as  firefighters and other emergency personnel and vehicles will still be operating in and around the fire area.

Bill Brown, who lives nearby, says officials came to his home and told him to be ready to evacuate.

"It was unsettling. I was running around like a maniac, trying to see if there were things I could do, packed a suitcase real quick," he said.

He left Wednesday night and came back Thursday morning, continuing to monitor what is going on.

"We have our suitcases packed. We're ready to roll out of here at a moment's notice. It's emotionally really, really draining, but these heroes that are out here are doing this job for us, it's amazing the support from Wimberley and from outside of Wimberley," he said.

"It was like, 'my God,' that's what's crazy right now, like yesterday, I saw so much smoke, of course that's before action took place. Today, to know that it's out there and not really seeing it is bizarre to me," Brown said, when he first saw the blaze Wednesday.


Multiple teams are fighting the fire, even some from out of state. 

One crew is digging fire lines with shovels because the terrain is hard on bulldozers.

"We're doing the best we can, it's been very rough, the terrain is very steep, we've got a lot of thick brush, it's very hot," Kimberly Kaschalk with Texas A&M Forest Service said.

Helicopters are bringing in water from the Blanco River. 

As the dry conditions continue, officials want you to do your part to stop fires from happening.

"Anything you can do to help us to prevent these fires is going to go a long way. It's going to be so much easier on our resources. We are stretched very, very thin right now," Kaschalk said.

"We're a tinderbox right now. We'd like to get some rain somewhere, somehow," Brown said.

Kaschalk says one home had minor damage, some scorching on the deck. Two outbuildings also had minor damage.

"Just have to hope and pray, no loss of life, that's the most important thing," Brown said.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The Forest Service is also asking people to not fly their personal drones, because if you're flying, their aircraft can't fly.

Avoid the area if you can.