Progress is being made on an almost 800-acre fire burning in Central Texas. Texas A&M Fire Service says the Rolling Pines Fire in Bastrop County is about 30-percent contained and not expected to grow any more. Flames broke out during a controlled burn yesterday forcing evacuations in the Pine Hill Drive neighborhood by Bastrop State Park. No primary homes have been destroyed.
“The State of Texas has deployed numerous resources to assist local officials as they combat the Rolling Pines fire in Bastrop County. Texas A&M Forest Service has deployed three Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams which include approximately 75 firefighters. Texas A&M Forest Service assets include more than 15 personnel, four dozers, one engine, aircraft including attack aerial supervision aircrafts, and two large air tankers to assist with fire retardant drops," said Governor Greg Abbott. "In addition, an Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Wildland Support Package is responding to assist in meeting any medical needs, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management is responding with personnel support on scene. The Texas Military Department has deployed a UH60 helicopter with a fire suppression water bucket and has additional aircraft on standby. We will continue to monitor the situation in Bastrop County and are ready to deploy additional state resources as needed to contain this wildfire and keep Texans safe."
Texas Parks & Wildlife is promising to get answers as quickly as possible after a Central Texas controlled burn ended up getting out of control. Executive Director Carter Smith says the focus is making sure the fire is put out before the investigation really ramps up. A certified burn boss is supposed to look at weather conditions and talk with experts from other agencies before the start of a controlled burn. Smith defended the burn boss' decision making before, noting no one knows exactly what happened before flames started yesterday. Smith notes sometimes prescribed burns get out of control, but believes they're a great tool to mitigate further wildfire risk.