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Bastrop Fire

By Brooks (Toland) Kasson

i’ve lived in south austin since l965. i’ve never seen such a weather year as this. last winter, we had a series of teen days (mostly we used to get a few days in the high 20?s) that devastated gardens. not much rain in the spring. none to speak of since march. the earth is parched.

the temperatures hit the triple digits in june, and stayed there. we had 105-107 degree days for weeks on end. even a few 110 degree days. then the winds began a few days ago, whipping the dryness into a frenzy.

the fires have been about twenty or so miles to the east of us, in bastrop. some of them are to the northwest. they say over 1000 homes have been lost altogether.

this summer has been an amazing experience. not one that i’d want to repeat, particularly.

remember us when you’re enjoying your rain, your glass of water and your shower.


[Brooks – picture didn’t come through so could not posted it – Bob]

All Videos Below Best Viewed in *Full Screen* Mode

This video shows the destruction in Texas. Many of these fires still rage just miles from people’s houses. Keep all of Texas in your prayers.

This video shows the photographer’s parents and grandmas homes on Porter Road after the Bastrop, Texas fire.

Bastrop, Texas wildfire from flight out of Austin-Bergstrom September 5, 2011 at approximately 5:19 pm CDT.

Smoke plumes and haze from wild fires are seen across Texas on Sept. 7, 2011 from the International Space Station. (NOTE: coverage of the fires begins at 2:45)

8 comments to Bastrop Fire

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Needless to say, Gisela and I hope that all folks in the fire area are as safe as possible. thanks for the update Brooks, stay safe and I hope the weather situation changes soonest.

  • Gene Taylor

    Brook, I live north of you, near Waco. Fires at Whitney now…quite bad as well.

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    Brooks, I live just south of the Magnolia fires and have smelled and tasted smoke, even inside our home, for several days now. When driving to school on Tuesday with “Oreo”,my classroom guinea pig, in the backseat, she suddenly started frantically clawing her cage and chewing the wires…that was about the same time I began to smell strong, smoke odors in the car. Bless her heart, she sensed danger and was trying to escape her cage.
    Almost everyone I know knows of someone who has been touched in some way by the wildfires and rain is nowhere in our forcast..just more heat again and dry, windy conditions. Nature is wrecking her havoc on Texas this year. Keep well in Austin and Waco,and elsewhere in Texas, Saigon friends.
    Stay safe, everyone, as the 10th anniversary of 9-11 is remembered this weekend. Suellen “Saigon 58-60”

  • Maile Miller Doyle

    We, in Ohio have also been following the terrible weather you are experiencing in Texas. My daughter just bought a new house northwest of Houston in Cypress and was telling me they could smell smoke and see the smoke clouds over their home.

    Stay safe everyone and know we are praying for a break in the weather to include some very much needed rain. Wish we could have shipped some of Tropical Storm Lee your way! We were inundated even as far west in the country as we are.

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    We will keep your daughter in our thoughts. Cypress is a pretty area just north of Houston. She is no doubt near the Tri-County fire and it is has been very stubborn.
    Wish you could send the rain…our forecast is for NONE, for at least another week or two, and with El Nino back again, we will probably be in a drought for another year.
    Glad to have another Saigon Kid connection in the Houston metroplex.
    Suellen Saigon “58-60”

  • brooks toland kasson

    thanks to all for good wishes and hopefulness. it’s not that it will never rain again. it’s just that we don’t know when.

    glad you and oreo are safe, suellen. you, too, gene. and thanks to ken yeager for prompting me to write about this happening. maybe next time, i can report something more fun.

    like austin city limits festival, for instance. coming up this weekend. big event. no smoking this year, though.

    • Brooks – Thank you for contributing your article to the site and sharing with Saigon Kids. Much appreciated! By the way, Austin City Limits – ROCKS! One of my cousins, Brain Layson, is currently on tour across the USA playing lead guitar (and vocals) with Dierks Bentley and The Band of Brothers. I’m not sure if they’ll be playing at the festival or not, but, if you go and they are playing – shoot some pictures of them and send them to me to post here on the site. Brain is a musician, song writer and record producer in Nashville. Rock Onn … 🙂

  • Bobbie Sheehan Mauch


    These videos break my heart. I know the sight, taste and smell of fire as I went through the Yellowstone National Park fires as we have a cabin not far from there. One cannot imagine how devastating they are. We didn’t have the homes and people lost like you did, but the animals. I have prayed for you and all the people there and I hope you are safe and this is finally over. Take care my dear friend.

    Love, Bobbie

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