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Wildfire burns south of popular Enchanted Rock

"Big Sky Fire" burns in the distance in northern Gillespie County.jpeg
Texas Forest Service
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Big Sky Fire burns in the distance in northern Gillespie County

The "Big Sky" wildfire has charred more than 1,400 acres south of Enchanted Rock in Gillespie County since Tuesday afternoon.

It was reported to be 25% contained as of Wednesday.

Two parks, the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Pedernales Falls State Park, have been closed as a precaution. Both are very popular summer tourist destinations.

The fire is located in a rugged area halfway between Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg, or nine miles north of the city.

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Kari Hines said no homes have been damaged, but other structures have.

"There are reports of damage to some outbuildings. No reports of residences either damaged or destroyed," she said.

The Gillespie County Sheriff's Department is warning residents to stay out of the area.

The Texas Forest Service reports local authorities requested their assistance around noon on Tuesday.

"We have over seven engines. We have four pieces of heavy equipment and we also have what we call an air attack, so a plane that's sort of eyes of the sky. We also have three single-engine air tankers as well," she said.

Much of the Hill Country, like Texas in general, is in the grip of an extreme drought. Low humidity, high winds. and rugged terrain can complicate firefighting efforts.

Hines said hand crews have "boots on the ground" to fight the fire in areas difficult to reach with vehicles.

Thick breaks of dry cedar trees can explode with fire. The Texas Forest Service posted current wildfires and those contained on its website on Wednesday:

Active Wildfires:

  • Margarita Fire, Bastrop County - 96 acres, 80% contained
  • Horton Fire, Hunt County - 3.6 acres, 60% contained
  • Ram Fire, Gillespie County - 91 acres, 70% contained
  • Snake Draw Fire, Parker County - 21 acres, 60% contained
  • Warpath Fire, Callahan County - 55 acres, 95% contained
  • Shortcut Fire, Guadalupe County - 60 acres, 95% contained
  • Boldt Fire, DeWitt County - 326.8 acres, 90% contained
  • Bald Knob Fire, Coryell County - 80 acres, 95% contained
  • Prairie Dog Fire, Hall County - 148 acres, 95% contained
  • Cimmerion Fire, Kerr County - 3 acres, 95% contained
  • Buda Fire, Hays County - 89.5 acres, 95% contained
  • Sky Diver Fire, Caldwell County - 10 acres, 98% contained
  • Chalk Mountain Fire, Somervell County - 6,755 acres, 93% contained

Contained Wildfires (100%):

  • Angelina 4518 Fire, Angelina County - 15.7 acres
  • Houston 4503 Fire, Houston County - 1.6 acres
  • Madison 4501 Fire, Madison County - 110 acres
  • Nacogdcohes 4515 Fire, Nacogdoches County - 2 acres
  • San Augustine 4511 Fire, San Augustine County - 3.5 acres
  • Trinity 4517 Fire, Trinity County - 1 acre
  • Cass 4513 Fire, Cass County - 4 acres
  • Morris 4496 Fire, Morris County - 1 acre
  • Jasper 4507 Fire, Jasper County - 1.4 acres
  • Jasper 4510 Fire, Jasper County - 0.1 acre
  • San Jacinto 4506 Fire, San Jacinto County - 0.5 acre
  • Hope Fire, Hunt County - 0.9 acre
  • Sturdivant Fire, Palo Pinto County - 9 acres
  • Durango Fire, Washington County - 20 acres
  • McWright Fire, Hunt County - 15.6 acres
  • Juniper Ridge Fire, King County - 4.6 acres
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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian