Rolling Pines Fire 100% contained after spanning more than 800 acres

The Rolling Pines Fire is now 100% contained as of Monday afternoon. After spanning more than 800 acres fire crews began to wrap up their work.

This week, fire crews on scene are going to focus their efforts on the aftermath and go through the area extinguishing any hotspots that might flare-up.

The once hectic scene in Bastrop County is now beginning to wind down. "I thank them so much for all they did they did a great job," said David Arrizola, who lives in Pine Hill Estates. This was an area that had to be evacuated last week.

It was a calm site across the area as fire crews worked to wrap up their efforts on the Rolling Pines Fire. Many folks like Arrizola are now back home. The damage can be seen just feet from his home.

He’s grateful to the firefighters who stood by and protected his neighborhood. "They stayed right here, right within this area for the past couple days actively, and they kept driving around the perimeter making sure everyone was safe and not have any kind of damage. The Pine Hill Estates they were saved by the fire department so thank you," said Arrizola.

Fighting a wildfire more than 800 acres large isn’t an easy task, it took dozens of agencies from across the state with an average of about 200 firefighters.

FOX 7 Austin spoke with the Texas AM Forest Service on how difficult a joint effort like this can be. "It can be because you have multiple disciplines, multiple radio frequencies things like that so getting on the unified command that quick meeting really gets everybody on the same page right away," said Richard gray the Texas A&M Forest Service chief regional fire coordinator.

For years, the Forest Service offers wildfire training to prepare fire crews in Texas for situations just like this. "We all trained the same standard, everything from basic wildfire land fighting for that entry-level firefighter all the way up to command control classes that help us prepare for a unified command like we used here," said Gray.

Following the deadly 2011 wildfire, Gray said it’s solidified just how important this wildfire training is. One of the lessons they learned back then was just how important it is to evacuate early, which is why they acted quickly last week and got folks like Arrizola out of their homes. 

"Got people out of harm's way, and then we were able to implement those tactics that we’ve learned from 2011 and our training classes on this fire to save houses."

The cause of the fire is linked to a prescribed burn by Texas Parks and Wildlife at the Bastrop State Park. Despite the warnings of wildfire dangers from the Forest Service as well as other agencies, last week officials defended the practice shortly after the wildfire broke out.

There is currently an investigation underway to see just how the controlled burn lost control.

Rolling Pines Fire: Bastrop County fire almost fully contained
Rolling Pines Fire brings back memories of previous Bastrop County fires
Residents near Rolling Pines Fire worry about shift in weather

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