There's a reason behind that "spread like wildfire" saying and holy cow are we discovering it here in Central Texas this Labor Day weekend.
Yesterday we had three wildfires start in our little town and believe it or not, we were one of the lucky towns. We had 200-ish acres burn but only two homes were affected. One of the fires was a little too close to our home for comfort (but not so close that we were evacuated) but it was a smaller one and extinguished literally before I even knew it had occurred. Fortunately it only took a few hours to contain and extinguish all the fires in our town.
Ross was on shift yesterday and with his team at GFD, extinguished two wildfires. Then he stayed up on a nearly all night watch to make sure they didn't flare up again. As of leaving his shift at 7a today, all was good in that community.
East of Austin in Bastrop, more than 14000 acres have burned in the past 24 hours (including about half of a state park) and in the northwest part of the city, even more areas are burning. More than 300 houses locally have been lost.
The fire in Bastrop is 0% contained and the fire on the northwest side of town isn't much better. And just in general, it's still so dry and the winds are so high, nobody is out of the woods yet. We're on a high fire danger warning through tonight and really, there will be continued risk until we get a good rain. However, when the wind dies down, that'll help.
In the meantime, if you are curious about your friends or family, try checking the Red Cross "Safe and Well" website. And if you are someone who needs to update friends and family, add yourself to that site. You can also make donations through the Central Texas Red Cross if you feel so inclined.