Houston-area firefighters join central Texas wildfire efforts

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Crews from at least one department from our area have joined the fight to contain the fires burning near Bastrop.

CYPRESS, Texas — Firefighters from at least one Houston-area fire department have joined in the effort to contain a wildfire burning in central Texas.

A crew from the Cy-Fair Fire Department is deploying to the area near Bastrop where a 640-acre fire burned, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes in the same area where a deadly blaze burned a decade ago.

The Cy-Fair crew was requested by the state operations center to deploy what’s known as a wildland paramedic unit, which provides advanced life support-level care to firefighters within minutes of any injury or illness, according to a Facebook post from Cy-Fire FD.

Cy-Fair FD has been requested by the State Operations Center, via EMTF, to deploy a Wildland Paramedic Unit (WPU) in…

Posted by Cy-Fair Fire Department on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The fire began as a prescribed burn Tuesday morning by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Bastrop State Park, according to the state agency, but it ended up growing beyond crews’ control.

Around 250 families were asked to leave their homes as a precaution, according to Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape, but no injuries or burned structures have been reported. 

Heavy smoke created blackout conditions for crews Tuesday night, according to KVUE-TV.

RELATED: Some evacuated Bastrop residents allowed to return as fire still burns through 500 acres

The smoke made searching for hidden fires in the area Tuesday night difficult.

The Texas A&M Forest Service (TAMFS) said it responded to a request for assistance with the fire, which the forest service estimated is currently consuming about 500 acres and is 10% contained, KVUE-TV reported. The fire has so far burned through at least 630 acres.  

Rich Gray with the Texas A&M Forest Service said about 200 personnel members were on scene and that more were inbound from around the state Tuesday evening. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.