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Two blazes highlight fire risks in the Highland Lakes

Delaware Springs fire in Burnet

The 22-acre Wandering Oak fire that started on Aug. 2 near Delaware Springs Golf Course in Burnet came close to homes and other structures. Courtesy photo by Stephani Smith

Two grassfires erupted in Burnet and Llano counties on Wednesday, Aug. 2, the same day the National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for the adjacent counties, highlighting the need for caution. 

Firefighters are still on the scene of a blaze that burned 22 acres near Delaware Springs Golf Course off of U.S. 281 in Burnet, while a 2-acre fire scorched both sides of Texas 16 north of Llano. That fire was reportedly caused by firecrackers thrown from trucks racing down the highway.

The Wandering Oak fire in Delaware Springs was 75 percent contained as of about 10:20 a.m. Thursday, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. Crews are on cleanup duty and extinguishing hot spots. Dozens of homes and structures were in the fire’s immediate vicinity, but no damages have been reported. The blaze was less than a mile from the Burnet Municipal Airport and Burnet County Fairgrounds.

An emergency call about the grassfire north of Llano reported two trucks racing each other along Texas 16 and the drivers throwing firecrackers at each other. The drivers are still at large, but the fire was quickly contained and extinguished by the Llano Volunteer Fire Department, according to Llano County Emergency Management coordinator Gilbert Bennett.

The National Weather Service issued its first red flag warnings for Burnet and Llano counties on Wednesday morning. The warnings signal extreme fire risks and recommend refraining from activities that could spark a flame. The warning was reinstated at noon Thursday and will likely remain in place as long as dry conditions and extreme heat persist, which could be weeks, according to current forecasts.