The Bastrop fire continues to burn.

UPDATE: Check this rather frightening map of active Texas (and beyond) fires.

When I drove my brother-in-law to Austin-Bergstrom this morning, we could see thick gray plumes hanging just over the horizon to the southeast. Fire is torching 500 homes and 25,000 acres in and around Bastrop. It’s nowhere near contained.

Dozens of smaller fires are burning around Austin and other parts of Texas.

We’ve had a record 70+ days over 100 degrees this summer, and have been in drought mode since pretty much last fall. My backyard is a carpet of brown crispy needles.

Combine this with the low humidity and gusting winds from Tropical Storm Lee over the weekend and it was pretty obvious we were going to burn.

I understand individual weather events can’t be traced to or blamed on global warming. But with a drought pushing a year and no end in sight, I just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

* Feature photo and vid via Austinist