BASTROP, Texas — Two people have been killed in a massive wildfire in Bastrop that has destroyed 785 homes. The Texas Forest Service said Wednesday morning that the fire is now 30 percent contained.
Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering said Tuesday that he had no details about the deaths.
Governor Rick Perry says a Texas task force of about 100 people will start searching Wednesday morning for more victims.
The Texas Forest Service said Tuesday morning that fire had scorched almost 34,000 acres since it started on Sunday. Twenty neighborhoods have evacuated.
Officials add that they will start listing confirmed addresses of homes destroyed or damaged Wednesday on the doors of the Bastrop Convention Center.
The news was a little better in southwestern Bastrop County in the community of Union Chapel, where a 900-acre brush fire was 20 percent contained. Twenty-seven homes in the Union Chapel area were lost.
The Texas Forest Service told KVUE that the path of destruction left by the larger Bastrop fire is close to 26 miles long and 20 miles at its widest point.
‘We’re just doing a back burn to get all the grass and everything burned up around the house so we don’t have to worry about it igniting later after we leave,’ Hurst firefighter Lt. Robert Poynter said.
Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald will meet with residents at Bastrop Middle School to address their concerns. He’ll talk with residents in Smithville at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Texas officials say more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed, and more than 100,000 acres have burned in wildfires over the past week across the state.
All classes for Bastrop schools were canceled for the rest of the week.