|Bastrop State Park, about 30 miles
outside of Austin, on 09-05-2011.
This week I have been getting lots of emails/messages/tweets asking if we are being affected by the central Texas wildires. The fires are too close for comfort but far enough that we are safe. Bastrop is about 30 miles away from us, and the fire in the Steiner Ranch neighborhood is about 12 miles away. My boss lives in Steiner Ranch and his house burned to the ground on Sunday night. He and his wife were out of town for the day and did not even have a chance to save any of their belongings. Thank goodness they don’t have any pets…
Outside the air is thick with smoke and it smells like someone is barbequing about five feet away. The TCEQ is recommending that everyone stay indoors, windows and doors shut, and limit their exposure to the smoke. For an active city that loves to be outdoors, especially running Town Lake, this is a big deal. Still, we all know it could be worse. In Bastrop [see picture above] 35,000 acres have burned and 1,386 homes were destroyed. It hurts to see Austin, my city that I love so much, so wrecked. Still, I feel good about the people I am surrounded by: we have contacted various shelters to see if fosters are needed for animals evacuated from Bastrop shelters, and SO many people have volunteered none were needed at the time of my call.
The only thing left to do is to help our friends & family with the rebuilding process. This weekend’s Hount Hunt benefits the Austin Humane Society, which has taken in a lot of displaced animals from Bastrop shelters. Our small dog playday at Southpaws Playschool on 9/24 will now benefit Austin Pets Alive!, who have gone out of their way to help shelter and care for the dogs transferred to them.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me to make sure we are ok and out of harms way. I’ll post more updates as I get them.