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As phase one re-entry begins, flare-ups spark in Bastrop fire

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TWC News: As phase one re-entry begins, flare-ups spark in Bastrop fire
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Watch the full 4 p.m. press conference from Bastrop in the video above.

Update 5 p.m.- Firefighters experienced flare-ups in the Bastrop County Complex fire Thursday afternoon as winds picked up and the humidity dropped, just as authorities had feared.

Those developments forced fire crews into active “structure protection,” since most of the flare ups occurred in already burned areas.

During Thursday afternoon’s briefing, county officials said they posted a list on the door of the Bastrop Convention center that added 134 more addresses to the previous list of 200 or more houses that have been destroyed.

Bastrop County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher said that when the temperature inversion lifted Thursday afternoon and fires flared, an crew working to restore electric service became trapped and had to be rescued from the flames.

"They had to pull law enforcement fire units out there and helicopters to save these crews," Fisher said.

The people and equipment are safe but, Fisher says the incident is a good example of the dangerous conditions in the fire area. He stresses residents should not try to return home before it’s allowed.

A big DC-10 airtanker will join the fight off sometime after 10 a.m. Friday, dumping up to 11,000 gallons of fire retardant chemicals at one time.

The containment of the fire is to the north of the 34,000 acreage area, but not continuous.

Officials said they had to move road blocks because both lanes of traffic were extremely congested and people were ignoring traffic signs after some areas of Bastrop reopened at 2 p.m.

Most of re-opened areas are in the north part of the fire because that’s where the blaze is least active.

Over 200 officers are on the ground. When phase two goes into effect, they may bring in more.

TWC News: As phase one re-entry begins, flare-ups spark in Bastrop fire
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Watch the video above for the full 12 p.m. press conference from Bastrop.

Update 1 p.m.- Some evacuees of the Bastrop County Complex Fire will be allowed to return home Thursday.

Here's a full list of continuing closures and re-opened areas, effective at 2 p.m. Thursday:

Bastrop

• Officials will collapse the road blocks and barricades in Paige, Texas.
• Highway 21 east will only be closed from Squirrel Run/CR 153 to Loop 150
• The barricades on Highway 290 on 21 will be taken down
• Barricades will be placed on Highway 150 at the State Park/Pine View Estates
• Highway 1441 from Highway 95 to Rainbow Drive will now be open
• Highway 21 eastbound will be open to Loop 150 from 71
• Highway 71 will remain closed from Tahitian Drive and Hidden Bluff Road

Tahitian Village

• General area west of Akaloa from Lover’s Lane will be open to residents there.
• Do not cross road blocks or go east of Akaloa

Smithville

• Highway 71 westbound is closed at the turnaround west of Keller Road
• Park Road westbound is closed at Old Antioch Road
• Cottletown Road is closed Old Antioch Road
• Gotier Trace westbound will remain closed at Old Antioch

Officials will not be controlling the reopened areas to monitor who is going in and out. They will be working on moving barricades and repositioning officers.

Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald says this is only phase one of the re-entry plan. Phase two will be announced soon.

Click here to view the projected power restoration map for the Bastrop area.

TWC News: As phase one re-entry begins, flare-ups spark in Bastrop fire
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Watch the video above for the full 10:30 a.m. press conference from Bastrop.

Update 11 a.m.- Officials now say it’s estimated that 1,386 have burned in the Bastrop County Complex fire. The blaze remains 30 percent contained and has spanned more than 34,000 acres.

A re-entry plan for residents is expected to be announced noon Thursday. Stay tuned to YNN to watch the press conference live, and check back here later for the full information online.

Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald said 388 individuals outside of local firefighters are helping to battle the blaze.

The Bluebonnet Electric Company has released a map of when electricity will be restored to areas of Bastrop affected by the fire. The areas of restoration are organized by date, ranging from Sept. 8-21. A majority of the area, however, remains undetermined.

Click here for a map of current outages in the area. We'll bring you a link to the restoration map as soon as it becomes available.

A DC-10 plane arrived in Austin Tuesday to help pour retardant on the blaze. However, it’s not in use yet because pilots need to be given an appropriate time to rest.

Shelters currently open in Bastrop are: Bastrop Christian Outreach Center, Ascension Catholic Church, Celebration Community Church, Smithville Recreation Center and Elgin Family Worship.

McDonald said there are around 5,000 evacuees total, and about 400 of them are in shelters. He urges residents not to try to sneak into their neighborhood because the area is still extremely dangerous.

A dry cold front is expected to move in soon, which could stir up some smoke creating a haze in the area. Winds are expected to pick up Thursday and Friday.

Highway 71 remains closed through Bastrop.

There is still not total cost of the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

TWC News: As phase one re-entry begins, flare-ups spark in Bastrop fire
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YNN's Chie Saito reports with the latest in the video above.

Earlier- Officials now say it’s estimated that 1,386 have burned in the Bastrop County Complex fire. The blaze remains 30 percent contained and has spanned more than 34,000 acres.

According to our YNN crew on the scene, officials have released a map of when electricity will be restored to areas of Bastrop affected by the fire. The areas of restoration are organized by date, ranging from Sept. 8-21. A majority of the area, however, remains undetermined.

A dry cold front is expected to move in soon, which could stir up some smoke creating a haze in the area.

Highway 71 remains closed through Bastrop.

There will be a press briefing at 10 a.m. Thursday. Tune into YNN to watch it live, and check back here shortly after to see it online.

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