STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
BURNET — The CR 108 Fire north of Burnet isn’t at 100 percent containment yet, but it’s close.
Texas A&M Forest Service crews are continuing to complete containment lines and “mop up,” but officials don’t expect the blaze to spread more.
The wildfire has burned 737 acres, according to the forest service.
Herb Darling, development services director for Burnet County, said some blazes within the fire zone will continue to burn.
“I don’t expect them to call it 100 percent (contained) for the next several days,” he said.
Local departments have been released, Darling said. Along with the Texas A&M Forest Service, some assistance is still being provided by Marble Falls Fire Rescue, the Burnet Fire Department, and the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department.
Darling said a few factors contributed to the fire not spreading more than it did. When it started July 22, the wind carried it away from structures to a remote portion of the county. Later, the wind shifted and pushed the fire back on itself. That allowed firefighters to create containment lines and take preventative measures.
The only structures damaged were deer stands. Darling said one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion on the scene. He credited the departments and community for their work in fighting the fire in extreme heat.
If people want to contribute to the firefighting efforts, Darling said donations of cases of water and Gatorade at local fire departments are one way to support crews at this time.
It’s believed a hay bale spontaneously combusted, starting the fire. However, Darling said Texas A&M Forest Service investigators couldn’t make that determination with complete confidence, and an official cause might be undetermined. The fire did begin, he said, near the hay bales in question.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
LLANO — After almost six days of fighting the blaze, officials reported July 24 that the CR 308 fire in Llano County was 100 percent contained as of just before noon.
The fire started July 18 and burned about 1,200 acres of mostly ranch land.
According to the Llano County Office of Emergency Management, all the Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, and other personnel were clear of the scene. Volunteer fire departments will respond in case of flare-ups.
Along with the more than 30 fire and other emergency agencies that responded to the fire, the community helped as well. On July 19, Llano County Office of Emergency Management put out a public request for fuel in approved containers to be dropped off at the Llano Volunteer Fire Department to help with firefighting efforts.
Officials said the community quickly responded, and, within a few hours, fuel needs were met.
“We greatly appreciate the outstanding community support and donations,” said Capt. Wayne Morris of the Llano Volunteer Fire Department and the CR 308 fire incident commander about the response for fuel and other needs.
UPDATE: As of 11:30 a.m. July 24, the blaze was considered 70 percent contained. Burnet County officials believe the wildfire was sparked by a hay bale that spontaneously combusted.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — As fire officials and crews in Llano and Blanco counties wrangled two separate blazes to 100 percent and 85 percent containment, Burnet County fire crews were battling a new fire north of Burnet.
The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office reported on its Facebook page about 9:30 p.m. July 22 that the Burnet County North End Fire Task Force as well as several other agencies had responded to fire north of Burnet and west of CR 108. At the time, officials reported the fire covered about 500 acres, but, by 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 23, the fire had spread to approximately 800 acres.
Officials estimated the blaze was 5-10 percent contained, according to a BCSO post.
As of about 6:30 p.m. July 22, Llano County Office of Emergency Management reported the CR 308 Fire was 85 percent contained. The fire started July 18 on ranch land.
Fire crews used ground units and aircraft to battle the blaze. On July 21, a Texas A&M Forest Service single-engine air tanker dropped retardant to help keep the fire from breaking through containment lines.
“The combination of ground and air efforts have kept this fire from spreading any further,” the Llano County Office of Emergency Management posted on its Facebook page.
Officials expected fire operations to continue through Monday.
In Blanco County, officials had planned to release the Smith-West Fire scene back to landowners as of 2 p.m. July 21.
“The 680-acre Smith-West Fire continues to remain 100 percent contained,” the Blanco County Office of Emergency Management said in its situation report at 1 p.m. July 21. “If any dangerous conditions are observed by the local landowners, Round Mountain fire personnel will return to the scene and take action as necessary.
“We are pleased to report that we have had no injuries throughout the entire 93-hour period we have had personnel on the scene,” the report added. “Additionally, no structures were lost. We can’t express how incredibly thankful we are for the countless personnel who have spent the past four days courageously fighting this fire.”