The scars left by last year’s historic wildfire can still be seen across Bastrop County.
Now, as the anniversary approaches, emergency officials are assessing the progress of the recovery and what still needs to be done.
The massive fire consumed more than 32,000 acres of land across Bastrop County and with it about 1.5 million trees—only about 10 percent of which will be removed.
County Engineer Ronnie Moore is the go-to guy for the largest fire cleanup in state history. As Director of the county Debris Management Program, he quarterbacked a team of local, state and federal officials responsible for clearing more than 600,000 cubic yards of debris.
"Our biggest concerns are two things,” Moore said. “First: public safety. Second: economic recovery."
The $25,000,000 cleanup cost is a drop in the bucket compared to the more than $250 million dollars lost in insurance claims.
Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher was the emergency personnel commander during the fire. Following cleanup, he envisions what could be one of largest restoration projects in our nation’s history.
"I can see the end now for the cleanup of debris," Fisher said. "The months of December, January and February are the appropriate time to plant pine trees.”
The Bastrop County Complex Fire proved to be the most destructive fire for an urban area in Texas History. In all, 1,696 homes were destroyed.
It's estimated around 700 homes have been rebuilt or are in the process of being built.