As you may be aware, Central Texas is ablaze with wildfires. The drought has made conditions extreme for fire danger, and the high winds we got (instead of rain) from Tropical Storm Lee over the weekend fanned the flames far and wide.
Today I was working from home and had the windows open, because the “cold front” that blew through over the weekend left the temperatures in the (relatively) pleasant 80-90 degree range. The winds have been blowing out of the north, so much of the smoke has not blown into Austin, as the fires are mostly east and west of the city.
Around noon I smelled smoke and figured the wind had shifted and we were smelling smoke from the Bastrop fire east of us, or maybe the Spicewood fire west of us. I went outside and it was snowing fine, white ash. I walked out front and saw a plume of dark smoke high over the greenbelt/park at the end of our street. Then I heard the sirens.
They evacuated our street from the park to just one house away from us. We spent the afternoon watering down the roof and packing the car with stuff that seemed important at the time.
Apparently there were 4 or 5 different fires in the park. They think these were started by someone intentionally – unimaginable. There were 3 engines down the street for most of the afternoon. Two were fighting the fire in the park, and one was standing by to protect homes, if the situation turned. This is a shot of one of the engines just a few houses away.
Thankfully the latest status is that the fire is contained and the evacuation has been lifted. Power came back on about an hour ago. Everyone in the neighborhood is on edge.
I pray that all the current fires are soon contained, and that no new ones are started.