Wildfire in Texas state park forces home evacuations

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BASTROP, Texas (AP) — A wildfire erupted Tuesday in a Central Texas state park, forcing the evacuation of dozens of residences in the city of Bastrop, the site of a deadly blaze a decade ago.

The fire started in Bastrop State Park. The Bastrop Office of Emergency Management posted a wildfire notice just before 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Bastrop County judge’s office told TV station KXAN that as of late afternoon, the fire had consumed about 630 acres (2.5 square kilometers), or about 10% of the size of the park. The judge is the county’s highest elected official.

About 30 homes close to the park have been evacuated, according to the county judge’s office.

An advisory by Texas Parks and Wildlife said a prescribed burn had been scheduled for a roadway in the park earlier Tuesday. Authorities have not confirmed that this was the cause of the wildfire.

Authorities closed the area over the park to flights, leaving it open for firefighting assistance. Several local roads were closed to traffic.

The 2011 wildfire destroyed 1,600 homes in Bastrop, scorching more than 50 square miles (1,630 square kilometers), including 96% of the state park.