Smithville Fire

The prayers of the Rio Texas Annual Conference are being lifted on behalf of the residents in the path of the fire outside of Smithville, Texas. Many churches have already reached out to offer aid in any way they can.

Check back to for updates and information.

October 19, 2:30 p.m.

From Eugene Hileman, Rio Texas Disaster Response Coordinator:

We continue to monitor the situation in Bastrop County and, at this point, we have not identified any unmet needs. The latest count of homes lost is 48 but that is not a final count.  As people return to their home, we will work with the United Methodist churches in the area and the Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team to meet needs as they are identified.

People wishing to respond to either the fires or the floods should send gifts to the Rio Texas Conference Disaster Fund.

From Pastor Karen Boehk regarding the fires outside of Smithville

Once again we find ourselves in the midst of a major fire here in Bastrop County. The 2011 fire started in Bastrop, which sustained most of the damage. This fire started in Smithville where it has burned over 4,200 acres and consumed at least 9 homes. At this time (2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 15th), the fire is still moving and people are still being evacuated from their homes.

We have been overwhelmed and blessed by the many offers from churches in and around the Rio Texas Conference to assist in any way possible. Smithville is an amazing community, and like before, we are working together to meet the immediate needs of the firefighters and the evacuees who are being housed at the Smithville Recreation Center. So far those needs are being met, but please know that we will put the word out when additional assistance is needed.

More than anything we need your prayers to continue for "no wind," and rain. The Good News is: God is in control, and God's grace is far greater than this fire.

Blessing in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Karen S. Boehk, Sr. Pastor
Smithville: First UMC