Many Bastrop Volunteer Fire Fighters Lose Everything

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Wildfires near Bastrop are now 70 percent contained. The blaze is the largest on record in Texas--destroying 34,000 acres and more than 1,500 homes.

There's concern the fires might flare up because of gusty winds forecast in the coming days. And we're starting to learn more tonight about those affected by these wildfires. Even those on the front lines. The Heart of Pines Volunteer Fire Department is nestled between Smithville and Bastrop and nearly ever member of the small agency is without a place to call home.

Billowing smoke seen for miles followed by unrelenting flames was just the beginning of what would soon become the biggest blaze in Texas History.

"We arrived to the fire on 1441 where it first broke and within the first five minutes there was a hissing sound and all the forest around us went up and we dropped the hoses, hopped in the cab and ran like hell," said Assistant Fire Chief Scott Sutcliffe.

For the last week Scott Sutcliffe has been trying to gain the upper hand on a fire that won't give up.

"We train for it, we talk about it, but when you see it, it's something else," said Sutcliffe.

As the Assistant Chief of the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department, Sutcliffe said over the years, he has conquered countless fires. But last Monday--it hit home.

"This was the living room and this basically was the kitchen and the dining room," said Sutcliffe.

He isn't the only fire fighter who is victim to the Bastrop blaze.

"We ended up having to leave because we were losing our exits and there is nothing worth dying for here," said Sutcliffe.

Nearly 20 out of the 24 volunteer firefighters at his station are now homeless.

"You live in the woods, simple fact of the matter is you're going to get fires out here--you take your chances," said Sutcliffe.

Taking chances while trying to make the best of a situation that has left an everlasting mark on Central Texas.