2011-09-15 / Front Page

Bastrop Fires 70 Percent Contained - Volunteers Needed

As of Tuesday morning, the Bastrop area fires were 70 percent contained and some areas are being opened for residents to return. However, re-entry into Pine Forest, Tahitian Village East, ColoVista North and McAllister is Thursday, September 15. Dates for re-entry are subject to change due to weather conditions.

After talking with the Bastrop County Emergency Management Center, they are requesting that donations and volunteers go through the City of Smithville, due to the fact that they are still fighting fires in the Bastrop area. People who want to donate supplies or volunteer, are asked to contact the City of Smithville at 317 Main Street 7 days a week, from 7 a.m until 8 p.m. The Emergency Management Center needs to keep track of the number of volunteers for their records for FEMA.

Connie Helgren, Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Smithville, said, “Please do not bring any more clothes at this time. What we need donated are fans, shovels, rakes, masks with filters, gloves, hoses, spices, toilet paper, paper towels, rags for cleaning, toiletries, flashlights, can openers, towels, wash rags, dish soap, kitchen cleaning supplies, linens, pillows, blankets, non-perishable food, first aid kits, and trash bags of any size. If you have furniture, call the City office at 512/237- 3282 ext. 0, leave your name and number and they will call you when they have a place to put furniture.”

“Cash donations should go to the Bastrop Christian Ministerial Alliance, P.O. Box 876, Bastrop, Texas 78602. All First National Bank Branches in Bastrop County are accepting checks for the Ministerial Alliance. Cash donations can also be sent to the Smithville Ministerial Alliance at PO Box 743, Smithville, Texas 78957, if you don’t want to give it directly to the American Red Cross.”

Helgren continued, “There is a Facebook page, Distribution Center for Fire Victims of Bastrop County Fires, we try our best to keep current. We still need lots of volunteers to sort, fold, and box donations. Please check in first with the City of Smithville and they will direct you to a location.”

If you have victims of the fires staying with you who may be allowed to return to their homes, the Bastrop County Emergency Management Center offers these safety guidelines: stay clear of downed power lines; don’t assume they are not energized. Do not drive over a downed electrical line; the downed power line may become entangled under your car. As you walk around your property, wear sturdy shoes or boots, not flip flops. Be aware of sharp edges on debris and other cutting or puncture hazards. Fire weakened trees will become more prone to falling over as each day passes, be careful of burning stump holes or areas that may be burning under surface ash.

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