September 8th, 2011
12:41 PM ET

Texas wildfire's toll makes big jump

A huge wildfire raging near Austin has destroyed nearly 1,400 homes and is still spreading, officials said Thursday.

Victoria Koenig, spokeswoman for the Texas Forest Service, said the Bastrop County fire has destroyed 1,368 homes - more than double the estimate officials gave Wednesday.

Despite hopes that the fire would be largely contained by Wednesday night, it remained 30% contained Thursday morning, she said. About 34,000 acres have been destroyed.

The fire has killed at least two people. An elite search team is helping local officials scour the area for other potential victims.

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Filed under: Texas
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  1. Dave

    HNIC; learn what a desert is moron. Texas is made up of. Arid, Mountain, and Modified Marine climate zones not desert.

    September 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • RON

      Ross; Right on! Texas is last in everthing , except oil , and not that Idiot you mentioned isn't to be found they should be last ot get help. Or, instead of laying off teachers so he could build a race track. He should pray more!

      September 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. H.N.I.C

    @Dave. I think over 100 degree temps for that long qualifies for desert conditions. And if ur not smart enuff to saturate an area before the fire gets there then maybe they should stop blaming others for something they cant help with. And if I wanted a got dam geography lesson I would turn on the discovery channel. Btw I live in the NE area and we just got hit with floods. Luckily I live on hill so I really dont give rats ars. The developers here do the same crap. They buy up cheap land in flood planes and swampland and build houses on them and up here they build either townhomes or 600 thousand dollar homes but no affordable single family homes which is one of the things that collapsed our economy, but thats a whole other story. The point is that the local govt lets them get away with it and these are things 2 take into consideration when buying a home. NUFF SAID! Lesson learned!

    September 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • txn

      Bastop is not a desert, it is piney woods. There has been a serious drought so there wasn't much to saturate with. People who had time did use hoses but that doesn't mean much when the land is so dry. If you don't care about anyone but yourself, why bother posting.

      September 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chris

    I just want to know what this country is going to do when things go up in the storeS. Cry cause meat and clothes are to high. Why cant us farmers and ranchers get any help? Thats something yall should think about.

    September 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    @HNIC; well since most of the Northeast was 100 degrees most of the summer I guess that makes it a desert too by your definition and you apparently need a "got dam" geography lesson. BTW these fires were started by someone and don't think your safe where your at someone could start one there just as easily not to mention that you could get buried in a land slide if you get a bunch of water run off. Oh and the next terrorist attack you get I suppose we should all just say "well you shouldn't have lived there that was just asking for it".

    September 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    Or how bout this, no federal funding for disaster relief due to Irene and tropical storm Lee, let the Northeast rot like they let the rest of the country rot. How's that for fair play?

    September 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. H.N.I.C

    Who cares! I paid a million pesos for a house on the river but I didnt but buy flood insurance. Boo hoo ur breakin my effin heart! Give us free! Up urs Amistad!

    September 9, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. layminister herman

    Gosh Comeon dave and H N I C Take a look at how the two of you are acting Might i suggest both of you take a deep breath and observe your actions due to each ones conditions

    September 9, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. :-)

    United we stand divided we fall !

    September 9, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ross

    How about the IDIOT that wanted Texas to secede from the U.S.!!! No disaster relief funds would be available for the fires that are spreading there...it would save the U.S. money by not bailing them out! How stupid is that guy feeling now?!

    September 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David Lisowski

    Sounds like a Katrina situation down thar in Texas. Another demonstration on why we actually created the government. Of course tea partiers like Perry want to bring it all down.

    The are in wonderland. See here

    September 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Perry cut funding for the firefighters

    State funding for volunteer fire departments took a big hit from $30 million to $7 million. Those departments were already facing financial strains.

    The State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas represents 21,000 state firefighters. The Association says more than 80 percent of volunteer firefighters are reporting taking a personal hit in the budget crisis. They have started using their own money to help pay for equipment and supplies.

    “We've seen budget cuts, but this is the worst time that we've ever seen,” said Executive Director Chris Barron. “As far as the budget crisis and the fuel cost stuff for example continues to go up and it doesn't help us out any whatsoever, so with the rising fuel and the budget cuts from the state it's taken a great effect. I think the citizens and the public is going to see that.”

    Most of the State of Texas is protected by volunteer departments. There are 879 volunteer departments compared to 114 paid departments and 187 departments that are a combination of both paid and volunteer firefighters.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
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