dry wild grasses from 2010
By now, you've probably heard that Texas is burning.
We knew it was a probability. Here in Central Texas, the woodlands and pastures have been without significant rainfall for almost a year. Combine that with record high temperatures, for records days, and you have a tinderbox, ready to go up in flames. Then, bring in a cold front, with 35 mph winds... it's a set up for a 'perfect storm'.
Over the weekend, that's exactly what happened. These weren't the first fires in Texas this year. They've been in all four corners and areas in between. It's just that so many blew up all at once, right here in Central Texas.
The worse is in Bastrop county. In just this fire, almost 38,000 acres are burned, almost 800 homes destroyed, and at least two people killed. The beautiful stands of pines make fast burning fuel.
And, it's still burning.
Several other fires surrounded the Austin area. People evacuated their homes and neighborhoods, not knowing when they'd go back, or what they'd find. Many lost all they had but what they could gather and escape with. Some were away at holiday events, not getting a chance to save even that much.
Our son and his family live close to one of the large fires in far west Travis county. They got word to evacuate Monday. We helped them gather up photos and mementos, clothes and computers, and carry them away. They later got word they could return.
They lost a home to fire a few years ago. We know how painful that is.
The firefighters have bravely fought these fires for days. The winds have settled down, and the temperatures are lower. That helps some. But, these brave firefighters have to be stretched to their limits. Many of them are volunteer firefighters.
A pall of smoke hangs over the area. Winds would blow it away, but winds that spread the fires even faster, are not what the firefighters need.
Another cold front is forecast for the week's end. That will mean more heavy winds. Winds that could push away any chance of rain from storms forming in the Gulf. Rain we desperately need....and,
winds we desperately don't.
Keep a thought for the people who have lost their homes, and some, even their loved ones.
Be thoughtful of any flame or spark in this tinder dry region.
Please be careful.....stay safe.