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Smith-West fire 90 percent contained, CR 308 now 60 percent

A second large bush fire has been reported in Llano County just west of the fire near Horseshoe Bay. (CBS Austin)

Thursday wildfires continued burning in Central Texas. The Smith-West fire near Horseshoe Bay has burned 680 acres and is 90 percent contained. A second fire called the CR 308 Fire, has burned approximately 1,200 acres and is 60 percent contained.

Experts say acres burned is decreasing as the Texas A&M Forest Service gets a better look at the damage.

A lot of the progress can be credited to help coming from all over the state.

"It's just a very, very coordinated effort," said Jake Gottschalk Wildland Urban Interface Specialist with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

About 100 firefighters -- some from as far away as Bryan-- are helping fight the County Road 308 fire now burning into its second day in Llano County.

"The fact that we’ve had such a large fire-- well two large fires -- and no homes lost and no injuries is amazing," said Gottschalk.

South of Llano, the Smith-West fire has been raging since Tuesday evening. The two fires are spreading a haze across part of the Hill Country. It's not just unsightly but also unhealthy.

"The symptoms to watch out for are if you are experiencing shortness of breath or have a sore throat or cough," said Scott Knepper, medical director of the emergency department at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Marble Falls.

Doctors say those at highest risk for complications are people who live near the fires and have preexisting heart or lung diseases like COPD and asthma. It's also dangerous for kids.

"Young children will be affected most by the smoke," Knepper said.

Crews will continue working around the clock-- some on the ground and others in the air. As they get closer to extinguishing the flames they worry another fire could ignite at any minute.

"These tall grasses that are about knee-high... it just takes one spark and they can take off," said Gottschalk.

The Llano County Judge says the area hasn't seen substantial rain in 8-10 months. Everyone is encouraged to be extremely cautious as not to start another fire.

Fire prevention tips from Texas A&M Forest Service include:

-do not drag chains when pulling a trailer

-when welding, make sure water is readily available in case a spark catches on dry grass

-trim up brush and trees on your property

-remove woodpiles near your home

The causes of both fires are under investigation.

Earlier on Thursday, Llano County asked for the public to donate gasoline to the emergency crews in the field as their vehicles were running out. Residents stepped up, and the fuel needs were met.


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