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My state is burning down


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  #1  
September 6th, 2011, 10:44 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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And the bleeping weather channel can't be bothered to give it more coverage than about 10 seconds an hour. It is really sad when your best source of info is what individual civilians can cobble together on facebook. The stats the weather channel just gave for number of fires (33) and homes burned (500) are from freaking YESTERDAY. Really? Like, is this the news or not?? Because now we have well over 66 major fires burning and over 1000 homes destroyed. The fires are 0% contained.

This has been the worst drought in Texas recorded history (since 1895) and also the hottest summer. There is a gigantic fire burning in the hill country 3 hours west of us and another an hour northwest. We have family very close to the Bastrop fire (less than 5 miles) and they have been unable to get communications out since yesterday morning. They should not be in danger at the moment, but all it takes is the wind changing...

I checked the news sites and dropped off two bags full of vaseline, visine and baby wipes for the firefighters at a local station. They head out to the Magnolia fire tomorrow morning.

3 million acres of Texas have burned this year. It makes you feel so helpless to sit here and watch this happening and KNOW people who are losing everything and it is all in slow motion and there is nothing you can do. AND AND!! Now that people all over the state are worried, teenage ******** are starting fires in neighborhoods!!! WTFingF?!? This whole state is a tinderbox and it is very hard to put these fires out.







All I can ask is that however you pray, pray for rain. The whole state is desperately hoping for a tropical storm.
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  #2  
September 6th, 2011, 10:51 PM
ashbbrunton's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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OMG, those pics are amazing!! Such a sad situation!! Saying a prayer for everyone involved, families losing homes and the firemen risking their lives and working long hours and in miserable conditions! Hope you guys and your friends and family stay safe!!
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  #3  
September 7th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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I heard about that on the news, but I didn't realize how bad it really was! Fire terrifies me, so I would be a wreck! I hope relief comes soon and that you all stay safe!
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  #4  
September 7th, 2011, 05:20 AM
~LaurenNoel~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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In 1998, our entire state was on fire. My dad actually drove our car through fire crossing I-95 to get us away from all the fires burning right near the road. Fires are very scary, and I'm sorry to hear about how bad it is there. I'll be praying for rain.
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  #5  
September 7th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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I am so sorry. We have family there too and it is just so sad.
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  #6  
September 7th, 2011, 08:45 AM
AndreaRenee's Avatar raising boys...
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Omg... this is the first ive heard about these fires .... how terrible
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  #7  
September 7th, 2011, 09:23 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yeah, it is getting no coverage and I don't understand it. The GOOD news is the big fire nearest me is now about 80% contained, though it is still raging. They finally had a call for volunteers to serve first responders, so at naptime I'm putting E in the car and seeing if I can head over to register for an overnight shift. I'm a night owl anyway and serving food to those guys will be a far sight better than sitting at my computer until 2 am scouring for updates.

The Union chapel fire (30K+ acres) is 30% contained and the Bastrop fire is 15% contained. The wind finally died down and that is helping.

We had a perfect storm for wildfires. Hurricane Alex last summer dumped unusual amounts of rain on TX, causing an abundance of vegetation to grow. Then we had an unusually cold winter, so most everything died. Then we had the hottest, driest summer in history and everything turned to kindling. THEN, right when these fires started, the winds from Lee (but no rain, of course) whipped the fires into a frenzy and helped them spread. No rain in sight for who knows how long.

That last terrible/beautiful picture is Bastrop state park. the entire 6,000 acre park is toast along with 27,000 acres outside the park. They did manage to save the park's historic structures though, which is amazing. The fire is 25 miles long and 20 miles wide.

And to be honest, there is an even bigger fire in north east texas that has been burning for even longer. They are getting even less press than this. Probably because the hill country is a tourist/vacation area and is equidistant to austin, dallas, houston, san antonio...all the big cities are invested.
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  #8  
September 7th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Mel531's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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wow. how horribly tragic. not only the loss of property, but a lot if the wildlife Im sure has been destroyed...I hope they can manage to get it contained..or God willing it will rain and rain hard for a long time! stay safe!
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  #9  
September 7th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yes - and the lengths that were gone through by people all over the central part of texas to help people get their livestock out and to safe places was astounding and pretty heartwarming. Unfortunately people hit on the first day did not get enough notice for things like that and most of them had to let their animals loose and hope they found safety. The state park is the main habitat of a few endangered species. (

This is an extremely scary video of a man evacuating Bastrop on the first day of the fire. He was getting some flack for "waiting so long" but residents have stated he probably didn't. There were 45 mph winds that day and by the time anyone got notice the fire was already on them. Bastrop Complex Fire - 2011-Sep-04 - Evacuating home on Hwy 21 - YouTube
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  #10  
September 7th, 2011, 04:10 PM
MamaRN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I've seen a little bit about this and it's just awful. Praying for rain for you Kellie!
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  #11  
September 7th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Two more fires have popped up in Houston (way on the outskirts - Houston is huge). I am not worried for us except for the arson cases that have been happening. We are on the outskirts, but not the farthest out. But still there are lots of green (brown now) belts and our backyards and roofs are nothing but kindling. We have lots and lots of teenagers in our neighborhood and most are good kids but I can not help but worry. Everyone is at least a little worried if they're in an outlying area. A new fire pops up every 5 minutes and there is no rhyme or reason. Kingwood is burning. Longview is burning. San Antonio is burning. All places we know, visit, have friends and family...It feels like the whole state is just burning.

I know logically we are fine but am still terrified to wake up in the night to a knock on my door. This is all happening too close to home. The smoke plume from the Magnolia fire is clearly visible running southward just a few miles west of us.

And even worse, there are three new (still small) fires in Smithville, where half the Krueger clan lives. As far as I can tell from the map the fires are not at their property, but with a population of less than 1,000, all the place is is dried up pasture. Miles and miles and miles of it. Kindling.
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  #12  
September 8th, 2011, 09:50 PM
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I didn't know about them except for FB! ITs not making the news AT ALL up here.... I just can't believe that. I have been thinking/praying for you all down there! Keep us posted on whats up since our news can't be bothered
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  #13  
September 8th, 2011, 10:32 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The Bastrop fire just MIGHT be under control. Last count about 1,400 homes destroyed. 43,000 acres burned. The fire is by NO means out - and in fact they are saying it is only 30% contained, but the news coming out of there sounds really 100% better than the last two days.

The Magnolia fire (one by us - 30 minutes north) is really bad. They were 85% contained yesterday, but the winds are picking up again and now it is less than 40% contained again. About 75 homes have been lost, but only 7 new ones in the last 2 days. The firefighters have just done a tremendous job protecting structures. It is incredible. But last night they had to evacuate two new neighborhoods at midnight. Another today at noon. Then one of them was let back in and listening to the police scanners tonight they are being evac'ed again. Really it sounds like the fire is giving them hell tonight and tomorrow is expected to be a less favorable day. Based on what I am hearing on the scanner it looks like this neighborhood is going up in flames tonight.

There were also two new major fires today with structure losses - one outside San Antonio and one in the hill country again.

Longview, which is in between Dallas and Shreveport, LA, is in really bad shape and was just slammed with fires yesterday which have not abated.

The hopefully good news is that the big DC-10 converted tanker plane that is the biggest firefighting plane in the world is here and will finally be able to fly tomorrow after it's mandatory rest period for crew. This plane is supposed to be a miracle for wildfires and we are hoping it ends up being true!

Really, Texas is expected to have a drier than usual winter and next summer doesn't look much better. I am really hoping this ends up not being true, because it would essentially mean a whole nother year of this. Our poor fire fighters will be run absolutely into the ground.

Our OWN NEWS is doing a very poor job of covering this. A lot of people don't know how bad it is. the only fire being reported on is the Bastrop fire with small mentions of the Magnolia fire. No mentions of the other dozen major fires a day that are popping up.

Luckily Texas is amazing and we take care of our own. There have been so many donations that they are asking people to stop. There are so many volunteers you have to be the first ones there to register for shifts or be turned away. People are coordinating all over the state to find shelter for large animals since this is largely rural areas affected. HEB, which is a local (statewide) grocery store, has it's own disaster response team they dispatch at these times and they were in Bastrop with 18-wheelers within 24 hours of the fire breaking out. An HEB in Magnolia that literally only opened a week ago has been supplying the meat for all 800 first responders for the last 3 days. The day the fires broke out, all our Houston Rodeo (Rodeo is a really big deal here - like a month long state fair + all the current biggest music acts ) BBQ cookoff champs showed up with their grills and have been cooking for all these men. It's amazing. I've always been proud to be a Texan, and this is exactly why. I hope to goodness when all this is done we build these first responders a monument or throw them a festival or something.
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  #14  
September 9th, 2011, 07:59 AM
BoobyDutyAgainJen's Avatar Proud Mom & Birth Mom
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Insane! I had very little of an idea! I will send out all the prayers I can muster for all to be safe and well. Thanks for the news far better than the news are doing!
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  #15  
September 9th, 2011, 08:56 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks Jen, our amazing firefighters saved the neighborhood yet again. Four houses did burn, but the majority are still safe. Evacuees expected to remain displaced for at least 2 more days (Bastrop evacuees I think can head home soon) - I know the command post feeding the first responders is signing up volunteers through Wednesday, so it's far from over. Since our fire is now worse than the Bastrop one, I believe that big tanker is headed here and hallelujah for that!!

I want to share something I think is amazing.

This is the current active perimeter of the fire. The giant crescent cut into it? Is where the neighborhoods are. To me this is incredible. That against this unrelenting fire, the firefighters have managed to do that. I can't imagine what an uphill battle that is.
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  #16  
September 9th, 2011, 10:33 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Word is the Bastrop fire is completely contained!! They are still officially calling it 30% contained, but it is believed that is only because residents are itching to get back in and they are trying to extinguish all hot spots and get power restored before they do that. So they don't want to put that knowledge out there. Yesterday they had to do a helicopter rescue of a power crew because of a flare up, so it's not like the danger is gone.

The DC tanker that can deliver 12,000 gallons of fire retardant has already done two rounds of drops in the Magnolia area, so I hope this is the beginning of the end!

Thats said though: FRIDAY FIRE DANGER: North winds at 10-15 MPH. Humidity values at/below 20%. High Temps near 90F. High Fire Danger. #txfire

There have already been several new fires. This is so bizarre. We are used to 95%+ humidity through the entire summer into November. It's unreal to walk outside and have it be so NICE. I'll take the humidity back in a heartbeat though if it helps put out these fires!
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  #17  
September 9th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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My boys' school was taking donations for families in Bastrop...so glad I could help in some tiny way. I wish that the rain that is flooding the north would come our way.
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  #18  
September 9th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Magnolia fire is spreading. Listening to the scanner now during naptime and they are evacuating more neighborhoods. Just heard "Structure protection not an option: Too much wind." Praying for the firefighters of course, and also for all these homes now in harm's way.
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  #19  
September 10th, 2011, 11:07 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The firefighters fought and won a valiant fight against the winds yesterday, losing only 2 more structures.

Today looks good folks. Inside the perimeter is still burning, but I am hearing no issues from any of the fires. The national guard is here. The national strategic fire team is here, the DC-10 is here. There are 1000 firefighters on the Magnolia fire alone. Bastrop residents are being let into their neighborhoods today...I hope it keeps up...
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  #20  
September 14th, 2011, 08:39 AM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh yeah, so last night a fire broke out in a park less than 10 miles south of me. With a north wind blowing. That was fun. I was listening to the scanner and by about midnight it seemed they had it pretty under control and they were decomissioning units, so I felt secure enough to go to bed. Today it's 99% contained, but it burned 1500 acres. Our wildfire rating continues to be not just high, but Extreme.

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