Texas Fire Evacuees Return to Burned Homes

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The longest running drought in Texas state history continues to fuel massive wildfires.

Officials in Bastrop County say the fire there is 70 percent contained.

As firefighters keep working to extinguish the blaze, some residents are returning to their homes for the first time in nearly a week.

"You worry about your neighbors, your house, what you're going to go home to, whether you've got anything to go home to," resident Yvonne Choate said.

The Bastrop County fire destroyed an estimated 1,554 homes. One of those houses was owned by Monica Turner.

A week ago she told reporters she just wanted to be allowed back in, whether she had a home to go back to or not.

"I want to have the peace of mind to know that my house is gone. I have to see it for my own eyes," she said.

That day finally came for Turner. Nothing was left of her home after the fire burned it to the ground.

She says that seeing it is the closure she needed.

"It's just everything is just gone. Now I'm at a level of peace where I can just go, 'You know what? We can rebuild.' It may not be here. But we will be fine. My family and I will be fine," Turner said.

Officials have cancelled plans to re-open several other neighborhoods. They say that weather conditions are causing many fires to rekindle.

"Just because there is a reentry plan doesn't mean that these areas are completely safe. There still are fires flaring up.still folks having to be moved around," said Mark Rose, the chief executive officer of Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

"I think it's more for the lives of the people. I think they realize once they let them in the second time -- re-evacuate. I don't think they want to do that again," said Louis Vargas, a local resident who was evacuated.

County officials submitted a disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If approved, residents will be eligible for government aid.

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