Spread of large grassfire in Bastrop County stopped by firefighters

The command post near a grassfire on Old Lexington Road in Bastrop County. Aug. 8, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Leslie Rangel)
The command post near a grassfire on Old Lexington Road in Bastrop County. Aug. 8, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Leslie Rangel)

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A large grassfire a few miles east of Elgin briefly put homes in danger Monday afternoon, the Office of Emergency Management said. The forward progression of the fire was stopped at around 4:15 p.m.

Crews were on scene for an an extensive “mop up,” putting out any remaining patches of an estimated 10 acre fire. The cause of the fire was determined to be an illegal burn. The violators were ticketed.

A woman whose mother was evacuated says she and her mother are lucky their home didn’t burn.

“People don’t have money to repair their homes and different things. My mom — if her house burned down — there’s nothing she could do, there’s nowhere she can stay or live and she could’ve easily died,” Kristi Sisco says.

A Bastrop County burn ban was reinstated on Aug. 5 and the Elgin assistant fire chief, Chuck Fromme, says all surrounding counties have one too. He says breaking the rule can not only get you a citation, but have a much bigger problem on your hands.

“It makes things burn just that much more and even though the humidity is pretty high the heat is so things are so hot but it just keeps things rolling,” Fromme says.

At around 3:30 p.m., the county tweeted that crews were responding to 198 Old Lexington Road for reports of a large grassfire.

The number of homes briefly in danger was not immediately available. The county says no evacuations were ordered.

Shortly after 4 p.m., another fire was reported at 2215 Old McDade Road, around three miles south of the fire on Old Lexington Road. Officials say the Old McDade fire was caused by a legal control burn that happened before the burn ban took effect on Aug. 5, then Monday the fire reignited because of high temperatures.

“It don’t take much dry conditions and a spark will start a fire,” Carl “Country” Stewart said. He was working at the Lone Star Mulch and Compost when the fire crossed onto their property. They were able to use work equipment to help slow down the fire.

“We had a guy here, he hopped on my loader and got it out here and I got my water truck around here and he helped contain this fire while the fire department got here and we had it pretty much contained by the time they showed up,” Stewart said.

Last year, Bastrop County issued nearly four dozen burn ban citations in October. One Cedar Creek woman, Patricia Rivera-Garcia, 34 was arrested on Oct. 18 because she refused to sign her burn ban citation.

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