Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Flying to Austin yesterday evening, we got a good glimpse at the horrible fires raging in east Texas. Here are a couple of shots of the same cluster from different angles, again snapped with a Blackberry.
Flying low in to Austin, the smoke from the fires at Bastrop obscured the approach for a bit, like fog. Driving from the airport west along route 71, there was a wall of smoke that shaped a backdrop of the city, probably from fires out toward Bee Cave and at Steiner Ranch. Really a disaster, with lots of burned homes and no doubt many lost memories.
I am reminded of the people who move to Kansas and build beautiful houses with cedar shingles and cedar siding in the middle of cedar tree groves, and then wonder what happened when one of the normal Kansas grassfires sweeps through and their house vanishes. (Three years later, the Cedar trees are back, and sometimes the house too, so the cycle can repeat)
There's a reason Stucco and Tile Roofs are so popular down South. It's nice to come back to a house, instead of ashes.
My sister's home is one of the charred and burned - with lots of memories gone up in the smoke.
With all due respect, stucco and tile roofs may do fine in a grass fire in Kansas - this was a moving wall of flames in a tinder box of a pine forest from a drought and a summer of temperatures above 100 degrees.
In terms of hijacking a human tragedy for whatever political purpose you are trying to peddle - grow the F up.
Bastrop is a great small community in Texas, with a beautiful historical district that I hope survives the fire.
All the best to its people - lucky so far no one has died.
I wonder if people in Texas are applying fire retardent gel to their homes? I believe you spray it on your home with a garden hose and as I understand it, it will save your house. Here is an article where the stuff was used:
I have heard of it saving homes in California as well.
I could smell the smoke from the Steiner Ranch fire (and possible the fires up at Fort Hood) when I stepped out to go to work Tuesday morning. I have a couple of friends with homes in Tahitian Village in Bastrop. One of them was able to go in I think Wednesday or Thursday - his home was still standing; the other friend and her husband are still playing a waiting game, though a DPS trooper surveyed much of the neighborhood and reported every house on their street still stood. They are the lucky ones.
TH-you still in Austin?