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A tree displays "torching" behavior at the Hermosa Fire near Wimberley in Hays County. Torching is when the fire burns up the trunk of a tree and ignites the leaf canopy. This can be particularly challenging for firefighters as embers can blow on the wind and spread small individual "spot fires" ahead of the main fire. Photo courtesy of K. Kaschalk Texas A&M Forest Service

2 wildfires burning in Hays County

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Two wildfires are currently burning in Hays County.

The Hermosa Fire began Wednesday afternoon and has burned an estimated 60 acres as of press time, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The Smoke Rider Fire, which began Tuesday afternoon and has burned 1,210 acres on the Hays-Blanco County line near Dripping Springs, was 70% contained as of press time.

Hermosa Fire

The Hermosa Fire in the River Mountain Ranch subdivision just outside of Wimberley was 10% contained as of 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Fourteen homes have been threatened by the fire. One has sustained minor damage. Two out buildings have been damaged. Nothing has been destroyed.

Wimberley, North and South Hays Fire Departments are working with Texas A&M Forest Service to fight the fire. There are both helicopters and planes assisting with water and fire retardant.

Due to difficult terrain, a crew of 12 military veterans from Pinhoti, Georgia are on scene physically digging a line to try and create a barrier to keep the fire from spreading.

There are level three mandatory evacuations for all homes on Bluff View Drive. There is now level two voluntary evacuations for homes on Water Park Road and Winding Trail Road. Level two evacuations means that residents are not mandated to evacuate but officials believe it would be the best course of action. At minimum those residents should be prepared to evacuate.

The Wimberley First Baptist Church is available to those who have evacuated.

Smoke Rider Fire

The fire began in the early afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 2, moving northwest towards U.S. Highway 290, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The Texas A&M Forest Service is working in conjunction with local agencies, responding with ground crews, firefighters and aircraft. These include one air attack platform, three fire bosses, three single engine airtankers, one Type Two helicopter and two Texas Military Department Blackhawks, according to the Incident Information System.

There is a Temporary Flight Restriction in place for the area over the fire.

Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist in the area with high temperatures expected to peak near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Incident Information System.

“Breezy southerly winds will continue through the period as well, with sustained speeds near 15 mph and gusts near 25 mph,” the information system stated on its website,

Fire Chief Scott Collard with the North Hays County Fire Rescue suggested caution and alertness for those living in and near Dripping Springs.

“Everyone ahead of and around the fire needs to stay aware of their surroundings,” he said. “They can turn on sprinklers in their yards to help defend their structures. If they feel that their safety may be compromised, they should leave immediately."

The Storm Rider Fire is the second 200-plus acre wildfire to burn in the Dripping Springs area in the last month. The Gatlin Creek Fire burned over 325 acres July 6–8.

For updates and more information, visit or follow Blanco County Emergency Management on Facebook.

Reporting by Dalton Sweat and Madi Telschow were included in this report.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666