Wildfires hit local economies in Texas

Marketplace Staff Sep 6, 2011

Wildfires hit local economies in Texas

Marketplace Staff Sep 6, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: Fierce wildfires are causing big problems in parched central Texas. The fires have destroyed at least hundreds of homes
and businesses.

Kay Garcia McAnally is a city councilwoman from Bastrop, Texas. She also owns a bed & breakfast in town, and she’s with us now on the line. Hi there ma’am.

Kay Garcia McAnally: Hi!

Chiotakis: How close are you to the fires, and how close are those fires to Bastrop?

McAnally: Pretty close, but fortunately, we have a wonderful team on the ground from all over the United States now who have come to help out, so the line has been held. And we are very, very fortunate because so many houses in the county have burned, and so many people are displaced right now, but the city itself has been protected.

Chiotakis: How, you have a bed & breakfast there in Bastrop, right?

McAnally: Yes.

Chiotakis: How is your business doing right now, and other businesses in your city?

McAnally: Since the drought, I can tell you the tourism has slowed down. It’s been too hot — we’ve had over 80 days of 100+ degrees here.

Chiotakis: Wow.

McAnally: So, all the grass was brown and burned, and it was just too hot for tourists to come this way.

Chiotakis: How much do you think this is going to cost Bastrop and that part of Texas?

McAnally: Who knows! We’re still fighting fires here. But the governor has been down, all the papers have been filled out and documented, and signed off, and FEMA should be here today. So, with the loss of 600 homes there’ll be a big dent in our economy here, but if the amount of help that we’ve already received keeps coming, Bastrop will rise again very quickly.

Chiotakis: Bastrop City Councilwoman Kay Garcia McAnally. Thank you for your time ma’am.

McAnally: You are so welcome.

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