The State Of Texas Is On Fire

September 6, 2011

This has been one heck of a year: unexplained animal die offs, a massive earthquake and tsunamis hit Japan, a smaller yet uncommon earthquake shook Washington D.C., we've had severe tornado outbreaks, (more than one), Joplin was hit by the worst, we've had massive flooding in the midwest (which I haven't posted about for some reason), and now the State of Texas has caught on fire after 4 straight months of 110 degree temperatures without a single drop of rain. Before someone shouts "GLOBAL WARMING!!!" pay close attention. This didn't creep up on us slowly over a gradual period of years. This strange summer has been a stark contrast to any other summer in Texas history. I've lived in East Texas all my life and have always made note of the Texas summer heat. But usually, we never reach triple digit temperatures until the month of August, and even then it only lasts between a few days to maybe a couple of weeks. This year, we reached triple digits early in the month of May AND HAVE STAYED THERE EVER SINCE WITHOUT A SINGLE DROP OF RAIN!!!! That goes beyond setting some kind of record, that's beyond uncommon, that's completely out of this world. It's so strange and uncommon, I've even entertained the possibility of what some of the conspiracy theorists are saying. (I won't get into any of that here.)

My mother and I drove from Tyler to San Marcos to spend Labor Day Weekend with my sister. We had planned to come home on Monday. Late Sunday night, my sister began monitoring the news of Texas fires sprouting up all over the state, most notably the fire closest to us in Bastrop. When we woke up yesterday, we had to make a fast decision to leave quickly to get back to Tyler so that we wouldn't wind up stranded in south Texas. We usually drove through Bastrop, but this time we had to take an alternate route, Bastrop was out of the question. As we drove up the interstate, we continued to hear of newer fires popping up all around us along the way. We continued to see smoke plumes in every direction. We didn't know if we were gonna make it home or not.

The following videos were filmed and uploaded by YouTube users driving toward Bastrop. You'll see how massive the smoke filled the sky and how quickly traffic comes to a standstill once motorists become uncertain of where to go or what to do. We wanted to avoid situations like these as fires were popping up all around us.

While driving toward Tyler on 155, just as we came out of Palestine, we heard on the radio that a new fire had started just behind us blocking off traffic. We literally JUST missed it. If we hadn't left San Marcos when we did, there's no telling where we would have wound up. We made it home to Tyler, but with much anxiety.

This morning, we woke up noticing our entire neighborhood was covered in smoke. I immediately called 911 to discover that it wasn't a local fire in Tyler, but smoke from another fire northeast of Tyler that had covered the entire city. Here's a link from FOX about the Texas fires, here's one from our local ABC outlet which will continue updating until this is all over.