by BRAD ROLLINS
NEAR BUDA — Firefighters have contained a controlled burn that jumped its prescribed boundaries and consumed an additional 250 acres of a neighboring ranch in northern Hays County this afternoon.
Crews had scheduled a prescribed burn on 560 acres owned by the city of Austin’s water utility off FM 967 near Buda. The fire overran its designated area late this afternoon and began burning on the Ashmun 101 ranch next door.
Property owner Anne Ashmun said she was out of town and did not know what caused officials to lose control of the prescribed burn. She said she has conducted controlled burns on her own land twice in the last three years in cooperation with the city of Austin, which owns a conservation easement on her 1,100 acre property.
“I’m surprised and disappointed that it got out of hand today,” she said, but added that she has “great faith” in the city’s competence in conducting prescribed fires.
Fire departments from Bua, Kyle, Austin, Manchaca, North Hays and Oak Hill and the Texas Forest Service responded to the scene with trucks and helicopters. By 9 p.m., the incident commander said that the fire was 100 percent contained.
Austin firefighters will remain on the scene overnight to watch for flare ups or hotspots, officials said.
Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones took to Facebook to criticize the city of Austin’s decision to continue with a prescribed burn near Buda after the fire ran out of control this afternoon:
PHOTOS VIA THE CITY OF AUSTINEmail | Print