SAN ANTONIO — Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for Medina County Sunday as nearly two dozen agencies continue to battle the Das Goat Fire, which has burned more than 1,000 acres since Friday afternoon.
Three homes in the region have been destroyed by the blaze, but no deaths or injuries have been reported. The fire is about 10% contained as of Sunday afternoon.
"You can rebuild property," Abbott said. "If you lose a life, you can't rebuild anything. These are challenging times across the State of Texas with regards to different kinds of disasters.”
About 200 firefighters were being enlisted to fight what has been officially named the Das Goat Fire, according to the governor; among those agencies which have contributed personnel are the Medina County Sheriff's Office, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens.
AERIAL PHOTOS: Crews battle Das Goat wildfire in Medina County
Mandatory evacuations were issued Saturday for some areas, and shelters are operational for families who have been displaced (more information below). Fire officials with Medina County said more evacuations were possible Sunday, adding residents in the area should be ready with a "go bag" in the car or near the exit of the home.
At the same time, Abbott, along with Medina County leaders, expressed optimism about the fight to suppress the Das Goat Fire, while also hoping for rain to assist. Meanwhile, crews are working to restore power to homes after the blaze affected powerlines in the area.
The Medina County Courthouse said on Sunday Chris Schuchart signed a local disaster declaration as well, due to the widespread and severe damage caused by the fire. A photo of the signed declaration was posted to their Facebook.
Officials continue advising the general public to stay clear of the area. Smoke plumes will be visible from San Antonio and will directly impact the air quality near Medina Lake, Bandera, Pipe Creek, Boerne, Comfort and Kerrville.
A Red Flag Warning was issued for Sunday as well. See below for more information.
Residents were asked to evacuate immediately Saturday for the following locations according to NWS and Medina County Office of Emergency Management:
- East of County Road 271
- West of the Medina River
- South of F.M. 1283
- County Roads 2651 and 2652
- The town of Mico
Shelters available at the following locations:
- Loma Alta Middle School (266 County Road 381 South, until Monday)
- Fire station on FM 1957
- Circle K at the corner of FM471 and 211
Medina County officials said those in the north and northeast parts of Medina Lake including the Red Cove area need to keep aware of the fire.
They said to have a planned escape route established and leave early as it's better to be safe than be slowed down due to other people evacuating.
A Black Hawk helicopter was flown over the fire to do water drops on Saturday, and planes were seen gathering water from the nearby lake.
An initial investigation shows the blaze was caused from a car fire, a spokesperson for the Medina County Office of Emergency Management confirmed to KENS 5.
“Whatever happens to this fire in the coming days, the most important thing you all can do is protect your lives," Abbott said. "Do everything you can to save your own life.”
This is a developing story. Check back with KENS5.com for updates.