Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wildfire? In Bastrop? Is that near here?

Yesterday afternoon we were enjoying the last day of our Labor Day weekend stay at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. 

We were having a great time hanging out at the pool, floating in the lazy river, and barreling down the slide.

Off in the distance we could see some little puffs of smoke and had heard that there was a wildfire that had popped up in the Bastrop area.  At one point we saw two or three helicopters fly relatively low overhead carrying buckets of water.

Later in the afternoon as we headed out to our car in the parking lot (on high ground) we happened to glance back toward the resort and saw the ominous smoke clouds off in the distance... HOLY SMOKES!!

 As we headed out and neared the exit of Lost Pines at Hwy 71 we saw plumes of smoke much closer to us coming from just down the road on 71 from what we would later learn was a smaller fire West of Bastrop in the Wyldwood area dubbed the Union Chapel fire.  We saw a variety of helicopters making repeated passes over the area dropping water as they went barely seeming to make a dent in the spread of the fire as winds gusted driving it on.

We drove a mile or two down Highway 71 towards Bastrop and as we crested a hill we were stunned by the enormity of the wildfire East of the town of Bastrop off in the distance.

We stopped for a few minutes and stared in stunned disbelief with other onlookers and evacuated residents before turning around and heading back towards Austin in the hopes of finding an alternate route that would take us safely around the fire.

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