BASTROP COUNTY (CBS11) — Late Friday night, the Hidden Pines Fire in Bastrop County was 50% contained.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
Despite the gains, officials announced more homes had succumbed to the flames. Friday evening, the count was at 48, according to Bastrop County authorities.
The efforts to prevent property loss continued into the night. During a shift change, firefighters huddled together, discussing their plan of attack.
Earlier, a much anticipated DC-10 tanker jet deployed 12,000 gallons of fire retardant over hot spots, one at a time.
For many residents this situation is a constant reminder of the Bastrop fire of 2011.
Ed Nyc says not only did Mother Nature take from him then — he lost several properties — but so did looters. When he and his family were forced to evacuate, he says looters would come in to take copper and whatever else they could find.
A hand painted sign in front of his yard reads: “Do Not Trespass.”
“You Loot. We Shoot,” warns another.
“We put up the sign — the same sign. All we’ve done is repainted this year,” he said.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
Nyc claims a man ignored his warning, allegedly trespassing and making his way into his property.
“I brought out my gun and shot 50 feet in front of him. And then let him know that I meant business. He kept his hands up, he started walking off to the side,” Nyc said.
The homeowner says the trespasser was not hurt; he shot into the dirt. He also does not think he had taken anything. Nyc said he was arrested on the homeowner’s property because the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office had been searching for him.
“They had a bolo out, a ‘be on the lookout for him’ for most of the day,” he said. “We caught him.”
Other families that remember the fire of 2011 all too well are monitoring conditions closely.
Kelly Carroll does not know how long she can stay in her home. Family members sleep in shifts, keeping watch, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
“After you go through it a few times, you know to take your photos, your insurance papers and the daily essentials,” she said.
Carroll lost her home to the fire in 2011. She rebuilt and says there’s a real possibility it could be destroyed again. With the wisdom of someone who’s been there before, she resolves that she can handle it.
“As long as you get your animals out, get your kids out, get yourself out,” she said, “as long as you get those things out, everything else can be replaced.”MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)