Evacuations are underway at Pine Hill Drive because of a 300-acre “very active fire” at 100 Park Road 1A in Bastrop State Park that remains uncontained, according to state and local officials.
The Texas A&M Fire Service is helping local fire departments battle the blaze east of Bastrop and aviation resources have been ordered to assist, the forest service said.
"The fire is currently still south of SH21," Texas A&M Fire Service tweeted at 3:50 p.m. Tuesday. "Aircraft will be making water and retardant drops to help slow the spread of the fire and assist in protecting structures in the area."
Officials have closed Texas 21 East at South Shore Lake Bastrop and Texas 21 East at FM 1441, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management said. Texas 71 remains unaffected and open as of Tuesday afternoon.
Despite increased wildfire danger anticipated for Tuesday as warm, dry and windy conditions were forecast, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department moved forward with a prescribed burn in Bastrop State Park on Tuesday morning. The units planned to be burned were along Park Road 1C.
In response to residents voicing concern on social media about conducting a prescribed burn on a day with increased wildfire danger, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it had a large crew of trained and certified wildland firefighters on the ground as well as three “burn boss’s with a large culmination of prescribed fire experience in our Lost Pines ecosystem and tens of years of research, education and training."
“Each unit has specific prescription of environmental factors that need to be met before we can go ahead with a prescribed fire. The moisture in the vegetation, relative humidity and wind speed throughout today are within the prescription needs that we have for the unit today,” Parks and Wildlife Department said.
This is a developing story; check back for more details.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Fire in Bastrop today: Evacuations underway, roads closed