Editor's note: Journalist Aaron Brodie filed this report from Bastrop County, Texas, where officials say a huge wildfire has destroyed more than 550 homes.
The wildfire relief effort and national media presence at the Bastrop Convention and Exhibit Center look very much like those I've seen at other natural disasters.
Volunteers directing cars and people, truckloads of bottled water arriving like clockwork, residents poring over message boards for scarce nuggets of information, and a parking lot full of television trucks make this scene feel much like those during other wildfires and even recent tornadoes.
But 15 miles up the road, in Elgin, Texas, you'll find a decidedly Texas scene behind the Elgin VFW, where the Texas Lost Pines Riding Club rodeo arena has been converted into a triage center for horses, donkeys, mules, cows, goats, chickens, rabbits, geese and other animals that have been evacuated from the path of the deadly fire.
There's no pavement in the arena parking lot. A dry and dusty gravel road leads into the property, and the few journalists who are here parked their trucks in the grass. Pickup trucks roll in every few minutes - some with horse trailers, others with bails of hay.
The animals are off-loaded from trailers, placed into pens constructed with donated fence panels, documented and eventually sent to nearby areas that can house them until the danger passes.
More than 100 animals are here now, and dozens more are expected. People have donated hay, feed, water and feed buckets, ropes and plenty of hard work. Between 200 and 300 people have volunteered to help, some coming from as far away as Houston, about 130 miles to the east.
Organizers expect to keep some of the animals until their owners can find permanent housing for both themselves and the creatures.