It’s been almost one year since the devastating wildfires ravaged Bastrop, Texas. The fires made national news, with pictures of massive, ominous clouds of smoke sending waves of shock and horror throughout the United States.
In case you don’t remember, this fire, known as the Bastrop County Complex Fire, was the single most destructive fire in Texas history. It decimated over thirty thousand acres of land, destroyed over 1,500 homes, and claimed two Texas lives. When everything was said and done, the fire had caused approximately $325 million in property damage.
The delicate ecosystem of the area between Houston and Austin, known as the Lost Pines, is unique to Texas and spans over 70,000 acres. About half of the Lost Pines were destroyed by the Bastrop County Complex Fire.
Almost a year later, though, the people of Bastrop and surrounding areas have proven to be as strong as their Texas heritage.
In the wake of the fire, Bastrop County assembled the Lost Pines Recovery Team to address the massive damage to the Lost Pines. The people of Bastrop County and Lee County, along with their neighbors from Fayetteville County, Austin County, Washington County, Colorado County, and more joined together to help with debris removal and conservation of surviving plants and animals. The endangered Houston Toad, which lives exclusively in the Lost Pines of Bastrop, lost a large portion of its only home on Earth, and was a large focus of the relief efforts.
A full recovery for Bastrop and the Lost Pines will probably take decades, but the people and the land are well on their way to recovery. To see how you can help, visit the Bastrop County disaster relief website.