Event chance for residents to thank Llano County crews that battled back-to-back blazes

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

The Smith West Fire in northern Blanco County and southern Llano County has had a devastating effect on vegetation. Firefighters and emergency workers worked around the clock to get the fire under control. Courtesy photo

The Smith West Fire in northern Blanco County and southern Llano County has had a devastating effect on vegetation. Firefighters and emergency workers worked around the clock to get the fire under control. Courtesy photo

LLANO — After spending hours fighting and supporting efforts to battle two large wildfires, Llano County fire departments aren’t exactly resting as they continue to respond to daily calls.

Firefighters — both paid and volunteer — are always ready to go when we need them.

“That’s why we want to give them this ‘thank you,’” said Briley Mitchell, the Llano Chamber of Commerce executive director. The chamber and Lowe’s Market of Llano are teaming up to host that “thank you” to Llano County fire departments at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Llano Volunteer Fire Department, 301 Main St.

On July 17, fire crews from Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties — and eventually state and other area agencies — responded to the so-called Smith West Fire in northern Blanco County. The next day, the CR 108 Fire broke out in Llano County just northwest of the first blaze.

Firefighters rallied state and local resources to battle both wildfires, eventually getting them contained and extinguished without any major injuries or structure losses.

“They did a tremendous job,” Briley said. “A lot of these were volunteers who left their jobs and dropped what they were doing to go out there.”

Several other Llano County departments provided support by covering calls for those units wrapped up with battling the blazes.

“You can’t just send all your resources to these fires; you had to have someone available to handle the other calls that would come in,” Briley pointed out. “So other departments, they covered the rest of the county while some were out (at Smith West and CR 108).”

The chamber and Lowe’s Market are hosting the Aug. 14 event, which features ice cream and apple pie, to give the community a chance to come by and thank Llano County fire departments. Those include the Llano Volunteer Fire Department, Horseshoe Bay Fire Rescue, Sunrise Beach VFD, Kingsland VFD, Buchanan VFD, Castell VFD, Valley Spring VFD, and Tow VFD.

“They all do a great job,” Briley said. “This is just an opportunity for people to come back, give them a pat on the back, and say ‘thank you.’”

Call (325) 247-5354 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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