SAN ANTONIO — The worst is almost over for residents in Medina County, as fast-moving fire that destroyed close to 2,000 acres is close to burning out.
The Texas Forest Service reporting Monday night the Das Goat fire is 95% contained.
Medina County officials said residents can return to their homes Tuesday morning starting at 9 a.m. They hope to open all the other roads by noon.
The fire started on Friday after a truck sparked flames off County Road 271 near Rio Medina.
Medina County officials said the fire moved so fast that within an hour had engulfed 200 acres.
“Within seconds, it was going up the hill, just completely up the hill,” said Medina County resident Regina Allen.
Allen said she stopped to help her neighbor on Friday afternoon after his truck had stalled on County Road 271.
“He lifted the hood, and then that's when it started to spark and it blew and he got out of the way just in time,” said Allen.
The dry terrain was no match for the fast-moving flames carried by swift winds. Allen said it was within five to 10 seconds and the blaze had already swept up the hill.
Medina County officials said less than 30 firefighters from area volunteer fire departments were the first to respond, but hours later the fire had spread to hundreds then over a thousand acres, forcing neighbors to run from their homes.
“They told us we were the first ones to evacuate. We're up the hill watching it,” said Allen.
Crews from all over the state, along with other agencies from Michigan and Minnesota rushed in, battling the flames any way they could on the ground and from the air.
Three homes were completely destroyed, according to Medina County officials, but no lives were lost. Livestock and wildlife also spared.
“It’s just history that’s happened out here,” said Allen. “It’s going to take probably a while to get back to where normal is. You know, everybody around is really shook up, I'm still shook up.”
Allen said she wants people to know that her neighbor is devastated, and the fire was not his fault.
She added that the community is grateful for heroic efforts from first responders.
“It’s called kindness, love and support,” said Allen. “We appreciate it, every bit of it.”
The Medina County Office of Emergency Management said that the entrance to the High Mountain subdivision will reopen at 9 a.m. to residents with IDs.
"County Road 2615 remains closed from just North of Paradise Canyon to County Road 265. County Road 271 is closed from County Road 265 going approximately 3 miles south," officials said in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon.
"We plan to reopen County Road 2615 at 9am tomorrow morning," officials said. "We are hopeful to open County Road 271 by noon tomorrow."
Three homes in the region have been destroyed by the blaze since it started on Friday, but no deaths or injuries have been reported. The fire was only about 10% contained as of Sunday afternoon when Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration and an evacuation order for the area.
Officials confirmed that a pickup truck caught fire alongside the road, sparking this massive brush fire.
High Mountain Ranch residents had to leave their homes on Saturday, many taking children and pets to various shelters. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church is taking in anyone displaced from their homes.
The church is helping to relieve Loma Alto Middle School, which was being used as the official evacuation center. The school needed to open back up Monday for class.