750 acres near Wimberley scorched

Emergency vehicles near the command post at FM 2325 and Valley Springs Road. DAILY RECORD PHOTO BY GARY ZUPANCIC

Brush Fire

A hard-to-fight brush fire that consumed around 750 acres near Wimberley was deemed 100 percent contained Wednesday morning after a reconnaissance flyover. County officials said the aircraft reported “no areas of concern,” though fire crews were still on the scene mid-morning dousing stumps and roots that were still smoldering.

No structures burned, and residents who were ordered to evacuate their homes Tuesday as the fire grew near were allowed to return home Tuesday evening.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The flames spread quickly Tuesday afternoon as dry winter conditions have left the land ripe for wildfires, with plenty of freeze-dried fuel in the form of grasses and shrubs.

Officials said the fire started along FM 2325 and burned along five miles of roadway from Woodcreek to Pump Station Road. A command center was established at FM 2325 and Valley Springs.

Much of the area doesn’t have road access which thwarted firefighting efforts, the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith said. “It started along the roadway and then burned back into the subdivisions and ranchland,” she said. “What has made it difficult to get an accurate assessment of the size is that there are not really any through roads.”

She added that the attack on the fi re had been “based on the smoke plume that the fi re is traveling on a ranchland that doesn’t have any structures on it.” However, she added, the fi nal word would come from the Texas Forest Service, which used a helicopter to survey the scene.

Some school bus drop offs were rerouted to the Wimberley Community Center. Smith said on Tuesday that all of the children had been picked up.

At the height of the blaze, a Forest Service tanker made two drops of 3,000 gallons of fire retardant and STAR Flight medical helicopter dropped some water.

Hays and surrounding counties remain under burn bans. Responding fire departments included Wimberley, South Hays, North Hays, San Marcos, Buda, Kyle and Chisolm Trail. The Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Pct. 3 Constable’s Office and Office of Emergency Services were also on the scene.

San Marcos Daily Record

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