MEDINA COUNTY, Texas – Crews proceed to work to contain the wildfire in Medina County that has been burning for days. With a purple flag warning on Tuesday, firefighters can have to ramp up their efforts to contain the remaining 30%.
“Not that we’re in a 100 percent good place, but we’re we’re not we’re not completely out of control at this point,” mentioned Medina County ESD 1 Fire Chief Clint Cooke.
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Cooke mentioned they’re working with residents however have a plan in place in case hearth situations change.
“We’re working with residents that are specifically affected in the high mountain range that we’re going to bring them in with an I.D. so that all the residents are still secured with the other evacuations,” he mentioned. “But they’re going to be escorted in so that if there is an unexpected shift or change, we can get them out of there.”
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Cooke mentioned crews labored to save properties threatened by the fireplace.
“That was our primary goal. After we knew that we had the residents evacuated from the area, it became structure protection, and they’re going to see where and in certain areas the fire burned all the way up to their house,” he mentioned.
Cooke mentioned a home-owner had been reunited with their canine. He additionally mentioned livestock animals have been fed and brought care of whereas the owners have been away.
About 40 firefighters joined within the efforts to fight the fireplace. The state of Texas assisted with the Forest Service out of Fredericksburg and plane.
Medina County Judge Chris Schuchart mentioned many residents have been moved to tears after witnessing the destruction brought on by the fireplace.
“There were tears in their eyes just, and these are residents that didn’t lose their houses. So, you know, their electricity has been turned off, so they can go back anyway. But we did help them get back in yesterday and those that wanted to get stuff out,” Schuchart mentioned.
He mentioned the wildfire has introduced the group nearer, and a few helped out nonetheless they may.
“I think it’s great the way everybody in this community came together, not just the firefighters and the county personnel but individuals,” Schuchart mentioned.
Ira Rubio’s household evacuated the High Mountain Ranch subdivision twice.
They left Friday night time after Rubio noticed smoke throughout his drive in to work for an evening shift, and he says the sheriff’s office began saying an evacuation.
They have been again at residence by Saturday morning, however not for lengthy.
“Went to sleep. At 11 o’clock, phone’s ringing off the hook, and next thing you know, they say, ‘Hey, we got to go again!’ I was like, ‘What?’” Rubio recalled. “Went outside and literally, like, a black smoke was overcoming into my house. Ash is hitting my face, like, ‘OK, this is worse.’ It was a lot bigger. Wind gust was going.”
While Rubio’s household had a camper trailer by which they may wait out the evacuation, not everybody had that possibility.
In Helotes, a church spokesman estimated 10 to 15 folks have been staying at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, which is getting used as a shelter for evacuees.
Mary Elaine Rodriguez was one of them, alongside along with her husband and 7 canines – six of which have been puppies.
When the couple evacuated their High Mountain Ranch residence on Saturday, they piled eight puppies into the backseat of Rodriguez’s convertible and the grownup canine into the entrance seat of her husband’s truck.
Along the way in which, they have been ready to get some donated crates to maintain the canines contained, however they weren’t ready to carry alongside all of their animals.
“My mind went blank, and I was trying to find the most important thing, you know, and I figured it was our lives,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Now we have some chickens, but we opened the coop, and we let them out and we didn’t bring them. And our cats, we couldn’t see them or find them. So they took off before we could get to them.”
Both Rodriguez and Rubio mentioned they consider their properties escaped injury, however not all their neighbors have been so fortunate.
“Yes, we’re relieved our house is OK, but my heart is more towards the ones who are officially homeless,” Rubio mentioned. “I don’t know if they know or not.”
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The High Mountain Ranch Community has lost 30 of its 50 properties. When the folks pressured out of their properties return, they are saying they’re keen to assist their neighbors.
“I’m going to check the whole neighborhood. I’m going to see who needs help in there, and I’m going to see if there’s anybody that we can actually help out if they need,” mentioned Danny Moman.
Jeff Johnson mentioned his neighbors have been these most affected by the wildfire’s destruction.
“We feel our neighbors — the two in front. I think the three homes that were lost — two of those are in front of us, and one is behind us. So after we take care of the basics with us, we’re going to turn and see what we can do to help our neighbors,” Johnson mentioned.
The Texas Forest Service mentioned work remains to be wanted on the 30% of the fireplace not contained. As lengthy as nothing adjustments and the firefighters’ work stays on monitor, they hope to have 100% containment by Tuesday night time.
The purple flag warning runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
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