A Blanco County resident remained on site during the Smoke Rider fire

BLANCO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Dozens of homes were evacuated during the Smoke Rider Fire around 2325 and FM 165 Tuesday afternoon.

Blanco County resident Ed Vaughan lives in the area where the fire raged. His neighborhood was evacuated, but he chose to stay.

He’s a former volunteer firefighter from Henly, so Vaughan said he felt comfortable staying put.

“There was a lot of smoke near my door but on the other side,” Vaughan said.

He said he had never seen anything like it in his 22 years of living in the Hill Country.

Vaughan said he believes 40 acres of his property was burned in the Smoke Rider fire.

“I think they had a few trucks here when the fire got a little closer,” Vaughan said.

Texas A&M Forest Service spokesman Walter Flocke said this bushfire is not typical for the area.

“Hays County, Blanco County, we don’t typically see fires of this size most years,” Flocke said.

He said it was difficult to control the fire due to weather conditions.

“So the humidity is a bit lower and our winds are a bit stronger today,” Flocke said.

As for Vaughan, as he is surrounded by fallen trees, ash and smoke, he feels lucky that his house was not affected by the fire.

“There’s really nothing you can do about it. The whole house structure was completely spared. I have no complaints,” Vaughan said.

Flocke said the majority of fire crews are stationed on the northern portion of this blaze which jumped over US 290. He said the fire’s forward progress has stopped.

Earnest L. Veasey