Raw video shows frantic response to Bastrop fires



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Posted on October 31, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 1 at 10:17 AM

BASTROP, Texas --  The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Department has released hours of dramatic raw footage captured on patrol car cameras. They show deputies and police frantically going door-to- door trying to evacuate people in the path of a devastating wildfire.

“We did everything that we physically could do to try to protect people and warn them and get them out of there, and a lot of times at the risk of the officer's life,” said Bastrop Sheriff Terry Pickering.

In much of the first dashboard camera video, you can see law enforcement officers racing to homes and knocking on doors. The video also shows a deputy using a fire extinguisher from his patrol car to fight flames on the side of the road.

“My hat goes off to all my folks," said Sheriff Pickering. "I mean, they did an absolutely tremendous job that day.” 

The out-of-control blaze consumed more than 1,500 homes and 34,000 acres. Two people were killed.

Sheriff Pickering told KVUE that he has not reviewed all of the raw footage from his deputy’s dashboard cameras but says he and his officers will watch it over the next several months. They want to re-evaluate what, if anything, the department could have done better.

“There's obviously going to be a lot of lessons learned through all of this as would any other incident," said Sheriff Pickering. "You go back and review and say, 'Okay what could we do better?' It was something that people won't forget for a long time. But I think it's also something that I think a lot of good will come from.”

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