State Senator Glenn Hegar Reflects on Impact of Fires Raging Across Texas
Asks for continued prayers and support for impacted families
Austin, Texas--As wildfires continue to burn throughout the state, many Texas families' worst fears have been confirmed. In the past seven days, the Texas Forest Service (TFS) has responded to 176 fires spanning 126,844 acres and destroying an estimated 1,626 homes. The amount of acres burned in the past week alone is twenty-five times larger than the District of Columbia.
"The devastation these families face will only increase as they move forward, trying to rebuild their homes and their lives," Senator Hegar said. "Now more than ever those communities impacted by the wildfires need our prayers and support. I ask that you also keep our firefighters, peace officers and first responders in your thoughts and prayers as they work around the clock to extinguish these horrific fires and care for victims."
Senate District 18, which Senator Hegar represents, has been the hardest hit by the recent string of wildfires. As of Thursday afternoon, fires spanned across 57,180 acres and destroyed 1,516 homes in the 18th Senatorial District.
A monstrous wildfire in Bastrop County that first ignited on Sunday afternoon has destroyed more homes than any other blaze in Texas history. At press time, almost 1,400 homes have been lost as a result of that one fire and this number is only expected to increase. While some of the fire's progress has been contained, firefighters are still a long way from completely extinguishing it. Only 30 percent had been reported contained on Thursday afternoon.
Senator Hegar said these fires have struck at a time when Texas is already experiencing its driest consecutive months since record-keeping began in 1895. Parts of the state have had no measurable rain in nearly a year and some predict the drought may continue well into next year.
"I urge all of our citizens to be mindful of the extreme conditions we face today, and are likely to continue to experience in the coming months. Preventative measures are critical to protecting your home and your loved ones," Hegar said.
To help support those Texans who have lost their homes due to these wildfires, cash contributions and donations of clothes and other basic household goods are being accepted across the state. The Red Cross of Central Texas and various community organizations have set up a number of donation centers. Donations can also be made to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund which can be accessed at http://txwildfirerelief.org/. For additional information about how to make a contribution or about relief efforts, please contact Senator Hegar's office at (512) 463-0118. For detailed information about wildfires across the state, visit the Texas Forest Service's website at http://tfsweb.tamu.edu.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.