The 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire


The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, striking areas of Bastrop County in September and October 2011. Three separate fires started on September 4, 2011, as a result of strong winds caused by nearby Tropical Storm Lee, and merged into one large blaze that burned east of the city of Bastrop. Two people were killed by the fire, which destroyed 1,673 homes and inflicted an estimated $325 million of insured property damage. After being largely contained in late September, the fire was declared controlled on October 10, and finally extinguished on October 29.

On September 20, 2011, fire officials reported that the likely cause of the blaze was sparks from electric power lines. 30-mile-per-hour gusts of wind on September 4 apparently toppled trees which tumbled into electrical lines at two locations, creating sparks that fell onto and ignited the dry grass and leaf litter below. (quoted from Wikipedia)



  

The recovery of Bastrop State Park has been well chronicled by local birders and park personnel. For photos and other information about the recovery of the flora and fauna, read Brush Freeman's informative blog, Texas Nature Notes. Here are links to a few of his blog posts that have shown the progress:

March 12, 2012, "Bastrop is Growing Back"

May 29, 2012, "Bastrop State Park forest 9 months after the fire"

June 24, 2012, "Bastrop State Park Post Fire Photos June 24 2012

April 7, 2013, "Bastrop State Park near points 6 & 7 

And here is an informative article on the Texas Parks and Wildlife site about the Bastrop State Park fire recovery.