BASTROP, Texas — While hundreds of Bastrop evacuees are back home, thousands are still waiting. The wildfire remains just 30 percent contained after burning at least 1,386 homes and scorching 34,000 acres.
Firefighters did get some help fighting the fire Friday morning in the form of a DC-10 tanker. The firefighting plane has been at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport since Tuesday night. It can drop nearly 12,000 gallons of fire retardant at one time and make a pass over the wildfire every hour.
Many families struggled to be patient as it took several days to find out whether their home is still standing.
For the first time, police opened two Bastrop County neighborhoods that were previously closed because of the fire. Friday morning, a few lucky families got to go home.
Thousands are still waiting to find out whether their home survived the flames. The majority of evacuees are living in shelters throughout Bastrop County.
One woman found out this week her home burned to the ground. Now the donations of strangers are her only belongings.
‘We’re trying our best not to break because of the kids,’ Jessica Sanders said. ‘We don’t want the kids to see us like this.’
‘The day after they evacuated us we get a call and my grandmother passed away as well. Yeah we’re just going through all kinds of hard times right now,’ she said.
When the roadblocks were removed from a couple of neighborhoods Friday, one man was so eager to find out whether his home was standing that he ran. While many are without power, they are grateful the fire spared them.
Firefighters say wind conditions Friday, as well as the DC-10 tanker, should help them make progress.