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Wildfire in central Texas 40 percent contained

A wildfire in central Texas was 40 percent contained on Saturday and fire officials said they hoped to return some evacuated residents to their homes by the end of the day.

A wildfire in central Texas was 40 percent contained on Saturday and fire officials said they hoped to return some evacuated residents to their homes by the end of the day.

Firefighters have contained the so-called Hidden Pines wildfire inside a well-defined footprint after it burned on 4,582 acres and forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes, local officials in Bastrop County said during a news conference on Saturday.

"We have been playing defense on this fire for the last four days and today we are in containment mode, which means that we are not going to let that fire score anything else," Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape during a news conference.

The wildfire burning east of Austin, the state capital, is 40 percent contained, according to Steve Pollock, the ‎chief regional fire coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The wildfire has destroyed 48 home-like structures since it began on Tuesday. Investigators believe a farming accident involving a shredder ignited the fire, which quickly spread because of high winds and dry conditions.

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Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering said he hoped to allow an unspecified number of residents outside of the fire's perimeter back in their homes by the end of Saturday.

The wildfire occurred in the same pine forest area where a 2011 wildfire burned through some 34,000 acres. It forced Texas Governor Greg Abbott to declare a state of disaster on Friday.

Related Topics: FIRES
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