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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:37 am 
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Location: Spring Branch area, Houston, TX
Garnet I echo your thoughts and the stress this causes. At my home in the Spring Branch area we are not in any danger, but both of our children are much closer to the fires and have had ash falling. It is very stressful for them to have to leave for work and not know if they will come home to a burned out shell. I am "on call" to help them and some other friends, some who are within a couple of miles of the fire if needed. Of course I have told them what one of our friends told his wife while he is out of town-"let it burn-get the important stuff and leave"(paraphrased due to actual non-appropriate words). That is really all anyone can do in this situation unless they really want to be foolish and endanger their life for material possessions. I fully understand the thought of "save what I have worked all my life for" but I won't endanger my self or my family to save it. Like you and millions of Texans I continue to pray for rain.

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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:42 am 
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Location: West Columbia Tx Brazoria County
is there a site that displays active fires?...i heard our fire sirens go off this morning..not sure if it is a brushfire or not...but i can smell it in the air...i pray for rain as well..and i hope we all stay safe..


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:15 am 
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Location: Southeast Texas (Beaumont area)
underthwx wrote:
is there a site that displays active fires?...i heard our fire sirens go off this morning..not sure if it is a brushfire or not...but i can smell it in the air...i pray for rain as well..and i hope we all stay safe..



I don't know if these have all of the fires, but I have seen some small fires come and go, so they at least try to keep them updated.

http://ticc.tamu.edu/Response/FireActivity/

http://tx.dtswildfire.com/





I posted them a few days ago, but I have gotten so much information from these FB pages:

http://www.facebook.com/TxStormChasers

http://www.facebook.com/Montgomerycountyfireinfo

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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:17 am 
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Latest from Jeff:


Quote:
Fire Weather Update (Friday AM)‏

9:12 AM

Wildfires continue to burn across Texas, but forward spread has slowed on most fires and containment has increased in the last 24 hours.



Weather:

Today will feature more of the same with elevated to high fire danger risk across the entire area. Winds will be generally out of the NW to NNW at 5-15mph with a few gust to near 18-20mph during the middle of the afternoon. RH values continue to remain extremely low for this area with values bottoming out in the mid to late afternoon is the 10-20% range. These factors along with very dry fuels (10-hr vegetation moisture is 3-6%) continues to support rapid fire growth in heavy vegetation much of which is dead or dying.



Seabreeze front was able to make decent progress inland yesterday evening passing US 59 around 700pm and Tomball around 930pm. Winds shifted to the south and increased to 15-20mph for a period of time behind this boundary. The front passed Tomball around 930pm based on radar and at 1016pm the Riley fire flared up on its northern edge as noted by radar. Seabreeze will again move inland today and produce a wind shift from NW to S/SE in the 6-9pm time period across the southern ½ of the area. This will make for erratic and rapid fire weather changes around/near this boundary during the late afternoon/early evening hours.



Note: In the last 7 days, TFS has responded to 186 fires that have burned 156,517 acres and over 1626 homes.



Riley Rd Fire:

After being 65% contained yesterday afternoon, overnight flare ups have resulted in the fire now only 50% contained this morning. Active burning continues in Waller and Montgomery counties on the western and northeastern flanks of the fire. Spot fires from burning embers continues to be the biggest problem with this fire. Additional evacuations were required in Montgomery County along FM 1486 overnight. All other evacuation areas remain the same. This fire has burned 12,750 acres since Monday afternoon and 100 homes have been lost.



Burn Map (Yellow is burned, Red is active burning):

cid:image002.png@01CC6EC0.70627A60



Bastrop Fire:

The devastating Bastrop fire is now 30% contained and is the most destructive fire in TX history burning 34,000 acres. 45 square miles have burned including nearly all of Bastrop State Park. 5,000 residents were evacuated, some are being allowed to return. Over 350 fire fighters from as far away as Brownsville and Amarillo and other States are working this fire along with at least 12 fixed wing and rotary aircraft. 3 heavy air tankers capable of dropping 1500 gallons of water are working this fire. A DC 10 aircraft capable of dropping 12,000 gallons of water or slurry will be working this fire today. Fire lines have been held for the past 2 days and the fire has not spread beyond these containment lines. Crews continue to work hot spots over the large burn area.



Spicewood Fire (Travis County):

6500 acres burned, 67 homes have been lost (22 in one subdivision). The fire has jumped the Pedernales River and continues to burn southward. Numerous evacuations orders are in place. At least 500 homes are threatened. Fire is 80% contained. 17 state agencies are working his fire along with 150 fire fighters. FEMA grant was received.



Steiner Ranch Fire (Travis County):

125 acre, 34 homes burned and 30 others damaged. 1000 homes threatened, 300 homes were saved. Fire is contained and the evacuation order has been lifted. FEMA Grant was received.



Union Chapel Fire (Bastrop County):

920 acres burned. 90% contained. 27 homes burned on the west side of Bastrop. Mandatory evacuations in place for western City of Bastrop. Heavy air support was unable to contain the fire.



Fayette County Fire:

Fire continues to burn near Ruttersville, 2700 acres burned, 14 homes lost (fire is 95% contained).



Houston County:

3,000 acres burning in heavy timber east of I-45. Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for CR 4505,4529,4120,4520,8120,4130,4141,4145, PR 9542,8015, and Possum Pass Rd. 90% containment. 15 homes have been lost.



Leon County Fire:

4,689 acres burned near Robbins. 300 homes evacuated, 20 homes were lost. 90% containment.



Walker County Fire:

Fire is burning 1000 acres east of I-45. 90% containment. 30 homes are being evacuated, 5 homes have been lost.



Colorado County Fire:

Fire has burned 3500 acres in mainly grass and shrubs. 8 homes have been lost. Fire is contained.



Caldwell County Fire:

6000 acres have burned. Fire is 85% contained. 20 homes were saved and 6 homes were lost.



Cass County:

40,000 acres burned. Fire is burning in heavy pine plantation. 0% contained. Heavy air tankers, helicopters and numerous ground crews are working his fire. This fire continues to exhibit extreme spread and long crown runs in the heavy pine forest.

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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:55 am 
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Location: West Columbia Tx Brazoria County
Thankyou SGale...excellent site...


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:37 am 
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Location: Dallas Texas
vbhoutex wrote:
This is an image my son took on his way home. His house is the one with the pick up truck in front of it.
Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Wow! Its big enough to create a pyrocumulous with overshooting top and anvil! Same structure as the water vapor ones, only this one is made of smoke! Incredible photo.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:01 pm 
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I just found another site to follow the wildfires on. It says it is continuously updated. http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011/09 ... wildfires/

edit- I don't know what I am doing wrong or not doing, but that map is virtually useless to me. If it interactive for others please tell me how to make it so.

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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:23 pm 
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This is from the Waller County official site. PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE HEROES!!!
Quote:
Waller County Fire Info
FIREFIGHTERS IN TROUBLE IN CROWN RANCH - KEEP THIS SITE CLEAR OF NON-URGENT MESSAGES


Unfortunately this is after drops by a DC10 super tanker in the area that was diverted from the Bastrop fire.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:25 pm 
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https://www.facebook.com/DFWPoliceScanner has some N TX info.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:30 pm 
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vbhoutex wrote:
I just found another site to follow the wildfires on. It says it is continuously updated. http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011/09 ... wildfires/

edit- I don't know what I am doing wrong or not doing, but that map is virtually useless to me. If it interactive for others please tell me how to make it so.



That is an imbedded picture of the interactive map.

Here's the map.

http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-r ... s-map.html

It's easier to use if you zoom in before clicking!


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Quote:
KHOU-TV 11 News
Officials say the Ranch Crest subdivision in Montgomery County is being evacuated due to area wildfires.

If I am not mistaken, this is an AGAIN!! UGH!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Location: Spring Branch area, Houston, TX
Quote:
Waller County Fire Info
PER OFFICIALS: FIRE DANGER EVERYWHERE GIVEN WIND CONDITIONS. NOBODY HAS BEEN CLEARED TO COME BACK. ALL FIREFIGHTERS ARE WORKING EXTREMELY HARD


Quote:
Waller County Fire Info
THE WIND IS SWIRLING... AND WIND GUSTS OF 15-30 OUT OF THE NORTHWEST ON ITS WAY... GOOD TIME TO PRAY FOLKS....


And the winds are bringing the smoke back into the city. Starting to get hazy and smokey again.

On another note. What are the conditions in Central TX now? Especially the Bastrop fire.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Location: Pflugerville/Austin Tx
Report from one Austin tv station says, The wildfire that has devastated Bastrop County is in its sixth day and remains 30 percent contained, but officials say it's "only a matter of time" before they get control of it.

The fire has burned over 34,000 acres, destroyed almost 1,400 homes and killed two people

A fire on the west side of San Antonio caused evacuation of an elementary school, reports saying it was 95% contained, but now has reignited.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Info for Houston area fires http://www.myfoxhouston.com/

Also, from AP

Quote:
Forecast is foreboding for wildfire-weary Texas

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Scorching temperatures, strong winds and dry vegetation are turning Texas wildfires into fast and furious dangers that hop from place to place within hours, even minutes, and give residents little time to flee. Now it's likely to get worse.

Another La Nina weather pattern promises to bring drier, windier cold fronts in the months ahead, setting the stage for even more destructive blazes as the state prepares for autumn — traditionally its busiest wildfire season.

"It's the perfect conditions for a fire storm that just becomes very catastrophic, very intense and very difficult to control," said Doug Piirto, head of the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department at California Polytechnic State University.

The perilous mix has spawned a massive blaze that's destroyed nearly 1,400 homes in the Bastrop area southeast of Austin and nearly 300 others firefighters have battled nonstop since February. Their job has been made more difficult by a historic drought that is dehydrating vegetation — fuel for a fire — and a bubble of high pressure that has brought record-breaking, triple-digit heat to nearly every corner of the state.

"As long as these conditions exist, the fire forces don't get to take a day off," said Roddy Baumann, a fire behavior analyst from Vancouver, Wash., who has been in Texas since August assisting the state's incident management team. He notes even drought-resistant juniper bushes are dying of thirst, a phenomenon he has never before seen.

The pervasive threat means even places with little history of wildfires have reason to worry. Earlier this week in mostly rural counties northwest of Houston, an area more accustomed to high humidity and monsoon-style rains, blazes fueled by constantly shifting winds destroyed 75 homes.

Wildfires spread at about the rate of sustained wind speeds — about 30 mph at times last weekend when the latest round of fires broke out — and people often miscalculate the time they have to escape.

"You can't outrun the fire," said Jeremy Sullens, a wildfire analyst at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a conglomeration of federal and state agencies that supports operations nationwide.

Greg Creacy, a wildlife biologist and fire management specialist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said the Bastrop blaze at times spit out embers that landed on dry vegetation a half-mile or more ahead. Even as firefighters made progress and tamped down hotspots Friday, concern lingered about spot flare-ups sparked by floating embers.

Creacy said when embers spark ahead of the fire, the main flame follows behind and merges before sending out more spots "so it's kind of hopscotching along and it gains ground a little more quickly."

"When it's approaching and coming into those neighborhoods, you don't have a lot of time to react. It catches people by surprise," he said. "You have to move quickly to get to your escape route and get out of harm's way, particularly with those spots — you don't want to get trapped with fire in front of you and fire behind you."

Brad Smith, a wildland fire analyst who helps forecast wildfire potential for the Texas Forest Service, said huge blazes can be like hurricanes because their potential can be predicted and a cone can be drawn around high-danger areas.

"What you can't forecast and the big unknown with wildfires is where it's going to occur exactly," Smith said. "In that regards, it's more like a tornado."

During normal years, Texas' wildfire-friendly conditions reach their peak in November and last roughly through early spring. Last October, by looking at the growing La Nina weather pattern and the large amount of vegetative fuel on the ground, Smith predicted a busy summer wildfire season.

"And we got it," he said. "Now ... with dry winds with dry fronts, if that does happen, it's gonna be another very busy winter for Texas firefighters."

It also promises to be rough for residents like Jeff Worrell, who returned to the remains of his home in Bastrop on Thursday. A foundation and brick façade were all that was left of the home he bought four years ago when he moved to Texas from Los Angeles. The strings of Worrell's precious guitars, including one his son bought with money earned sweeping floors at the age of 11, could be seen in the still-hot rubble.

Familiar with the devastation of California wildfires, Worrell had noted the fire hydrant and fire station at the end of the street when he bought his home. But he and others seemed resigned not only to rebuilding from the ruins but accounting for the reality of wildfires as an always-there risk.

"It's something that everybody has to think about," Worrell said.

Smith and other fire experts said conditions last weekend — when massive counterclockwise wind gusts from Tropical Storm Lee converged over a drought-stricken state with a clockwise flow from a northern front — were highly unusual.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said it could become more common this winter as parched soil meets the dry, cold air the La Nina is expected to deliver.

Risks are already rising. Temperatures in parts of Texas will rise again next week to the mid-90s and low 100s, Murphy said, dropping already low humidity, "which puts us at risk when the next front comes through."

This year's drought, combined with the hottest June through August in U.S. history, increased the severity and intensity of Texas' wildfires. But other factors, including a massive growth in Texas' population — which has doubled since 1970 — urbanization, the introduction of non-native plants that burn more easily and fewer controlled burns that would help rid highly flammable undergrowth, all play a role in making wildfires larger, more intense and more severe.

"That's what's making this doubly severe," said James Hull, director of the Texas Forest Service for 12 years until retiring in 2008. "No longer are we just burning rural land, trees and forest pastures, but we're burning homes and, unfortunately, people."


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:30 pm 
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vbhoutex wrote:
Quote:
Waller County Fire Info
PER OFFICIALS: FIRE DANGER EVERYWHERE GIVEN WIND CONDITIONS. NOBODY HAS BEEN CLEARED TO COME BACK. ALL FIREFIGHTERS ARE WORKING EXTREMELY HARD


Quote:
Waller County Fire Info
THE WIND IS SWIRLING... AND WIND GUSTS OF 15-30 OUT OF THE NORTHWEST ON ITS WAY... GOOD TIME TO PRAY FOLKS....


And the winds are bringing the smoke back into the city. Starting to get hazy and smokey again.

On another note. What are the conditions in Central TX now? Especially the Bastrop fire.


Bastrop fire still saying 30% contained. I haven't been outside at all today because i got so sick yesterday but my husband said it's not as somky today in Austin. He's wearing a N95 mask to walk the dog. Doesn't seem to be bothering her and no she's not wearing a mask!

Seems like more fires popping up in the DFW area today.

Also there's anew fire w side of San Antonio

from KSAT

Crews Battling Brush Fire On Far West Side

Quote:
SAN ANTONIO -- Crews are battling a fast-moving wildfire on the far west side near Highway 211 and Potranco Road on the city's far West side.

The fire erupted a little after 2 p.m. on Friday.

The Texas Research Park complex, located at 14785 Omicron Dr. near the intersection of Potranco Road and Highway 211 is being evacuated as a precaution. The Tom Pawel Village Apartments near the complex is also being evacuated.

In addition, the CitiBank, at 100 Citibank Dr., has also been evacuated.

Chris Martinez, the assistant superintendent for Medina Valley Independent School District, said administrators at Potranco Elementary, located near where the fire is burning at 190 County Road 381 South, are "on standby."

He said students there are being dismissed at their regular time.

Keep it tuned to KSAT-12 and KSAT.com for more on this developing story.


At the Texas Storm Chaser's FB page people are reporting that Citibank can't be evacuated because of traffic!

Quote:
Rhonda Stout The traffic on Potranco is at a complete stand still in both directions. Fire trucks CANNOT get through the traffic on Potranco. Please do not go on Potranco outside 1604 unless it is truly an emergency.I live in Coolcrest and would NOT be able to leave if told to evacuate.
9 minutes ago · Like

Christina Polk Citibank has NOT been evacuated. They are trying to but cannot due to traffic. Hundreds of people are trapped in that area.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:36 pm 
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This update came in about 5 minutes ago on the San Antonio fire: The fire on 211 & Potranco is moving west. Residents in Pioneer Estates, as well as those in homes on Mechler Rd. are being evacuated. Water drops are set to begin in about 5 minutes.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas wildfires
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Location: Sharpstown, Houston, Harris County, Southeast Texas.
There are plenty of areas to go drop off donations this weekend

Saturday, Sept 10, from 9am until 4pm
At the BERRY CENTER (next to LoneStar College)
At 8875 Barker Cypress
(by Barker Cypress and West Road)

will be holding a Fireman Emergency Supply Donation Drop-Off - they are looking for items like:
Bottled Water
Bottled Gatorade
Eye Wash (prefer small individual bottles)
Protein Bars
Chapstick

Waller County Fairgrounds in Waller is also taking donations. I'm taking some dog food and cat food up there tomorrow.

There is also a desperate need for livestock feed. But I don't have the means to haul hay around. :-(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:10 pm 
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KVUE just reported the Federal Gov't is sending 4 C-130 tankers to Austin one of which is for Bastrop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Another site:

https://www.facebook.com/WallerCountyFireInfo

Waller County is part of the tricounty fire (Magnolia?) I don't know what they are callin it.

Fox26 out of Houston

Quote:
HOUSTON - A brush fire out of northeast Harris County has prompted officials to call for evacuations.

The fire erupted this afternoon near Beltway 8 and Woodforest Boulevard, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:17 pm 
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I am thankful to not be near any of the fires but my heart literally hurts for those that are. A group of us at work pray every morning for those affected by these fires. This is terrible. I hate this for our great state :(


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