Thursday, September 8, 2011

Texas Wildfires

This past weekend, Central Texas took a tremendous blow. Fueled by incredibly high winds, our drought-stricken land was eaten up by fast-moving wildfires.  More than 36,000 acres in my area have burned.  Over 1000 homes have been lost.  Almost 5000 homes were evacuated with many families still not allowed  home.

the view from Austin on Sunday, September 4, 2011 (photo rights -

Many of you know that I live in Central Texas.  I have received numerous texts and messages from you all regarding if I was effected by the devastating wildfires that have engulfed so many homes here over the past few days.  Thank you so much for reaching out - you all are so incredibly sweet.

We were thankfully not effected physically.  We live about 30 minutes from one of the most hardest hit areas, Bastrop.  But on Sunday, the fires were a little too close for comfort, with one less than 20 miles from us.

Many families were given 5 minutes to evacuate their homes, that's how fast the fires spread.  Entire neighborhoods have been wiped out.  Entire neighborhoods. As the week goes on, we are slowly learning about families that have lost everything.  My heart hurts for these families.  I just can't imagine what they must be going through.  I know that it is possessions that are lost and many possessions are replaceable.  But it's the devastation of losing everything that makes is so impossible to deal with.

And what would you grab if you were given 5 minutes to leave?  Clothing, sentimental possessions, pets? It's a conversation that many of my friends and I have had over the past few days.  It's a conversation that I've had with my kids.

This city has rallied together with amazing love for the victims of the fires.  There are so many agencies, churches and individuals coming together to help our neighbors.  Just today, While at a PTA luncheon, we discussed the possibility of having a Backpack & Binder drive to give all the children some sense of normalcy back.  Normalcy.  That's all these families want and they won't get that for months.

I have been effected by this emotionally - it's just so close to home.  So I am asking that you pray with me for these families.  Pray that they are able to rebuild with speed - not only their homes but their lives.

Pray for those still fighting the fires - As of today, only 30% of the Bastrop fire has been contained.

Pray for rain - we have had so little here over the past year and we are desperate for it.

Thank you.

pictures -


Jess said...

These pictures break my heart...please Lord send us rain!

Plynn said...

My husband and I like to take week-end road trips and one of our favorites has always been to go to Bastrop State Park and the surrounding area. This is such a sad thing. We live just north of Houston and are experiencing wildfires in our area also. All of our great state is at risk. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered through this and to all the firefighters working so hard.

sarajo said...

This takes me back to when I was a kid. There was a terrible summer of wildfires in the Wenatchee National Forest. My dad's National Guard unit was ordered to go up there and help out; feed the firefighters and help fight the fires. My dad was the mess sergeant, so he was in charge of the food. It was such a crazy summer. I was worried about him all the time. And the men from his unit that I knew. And the families that lived up there. We had friends that lived in the area too. It lasted for months, if I remember right.

My heart goes out to the people of Texas. Wildfires are so crazy scary. They move so fast, and are so big. Praying for some rain, and for the wind to die down.

Shawn said...

Becca, that is so terrifying! I am so glad that you are far enough away to still be safe. I would have called to check on you but I'll be honest, I didn't know there were fires...I know, I know I live in a bubble. Maybe I need to challenge myself to check out CNN or Fox at least once a day!

The Cannary's said...

Driving back from a quick trip to San Marcos, I thought that the the skyline of Austin looked like a giant shroud hung over it. It's such a huge and far-reaching tragedy. This drought is going to cause long lasting pain for Central Texas. We need the rain so badly. All you can do is pray - we are so helpless against nature, but we all still have each other and neighbors in Austin are pulling together for Bastrop, and other areas of the state as well.

Surrounded-By-Boys said...

Oh this is just awful!! I have always said in case of fire I would grab (other than children) my photo albums and a few sentimental items, but with only 5 minutes? I think I'd just grab my kids!! Praying for all of y'all affected by this !!!

Kelli said...

Oh heart breaks for those people. I can't imagine the fear and the chaos that people are experiencing right now. While we're complaining about all of the're praying for rain. This really puts things into perspective.

Amber said...

So, so scary. I can't imagine just driving to work and seeing all that smoke billowing out down the road.

I'm glad your home and family is safe. I'm sending you and Texas some positive vibes.

Teri said...

I am a little south of you, and my heart just breaks. Just breaks. We have also had the talk with our kids about what we'd take if we were evacuated. I think having a plan helps them as they are hearing us talk about the fires.

If you know of anyone doing a backpack and binder drive, or any other- would you let me know. I, and several of my friends would love to contribute. (zuwkeeper(at)

AndreaLeigh said...

those pictures are just heartbreaking. I can't imagine being told you had 5 minutes. I don't even know what I would take! Are you guys prepared? Do you have stuff set aside in case you do get that warning?

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