Even if you don’t live in Texas, you’ve probably heard about the 2011 Bastrop County Complex fire.
On Sept. 4 2011, powerful winds caused by Tropical Storm Lee collided with a large wildfire, creating what would become the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. The massive blaze persisted for nearly two months and claimed the lives of two people and burned 1,673 homes.
For some perspective on how fast the fire spread, watch the video below. Filmed in Bastrop State Park on the second day of the fire, the clip shows strong winds pushing the blaze through the park’s pine trees. In less than a minute, the entire treeline is engulfed in flames.
Only 100 of the park’s 6,000 acres didn’t burn. The fire also claimed a significant portion of the ancient Lost Pines forest, which touches Bastrop State Park.
Texas still faces an ongoing threat from catastrophic wildfires due to the current drought conditions and rapid land development throughout the state.
According to the Dallas Morning News, there were more than 157,000 Texas wildfires from 2005-2014, and 80 percent of those fires occurred within two miles of a community.
So, if you’re camping in this great state of ours, follow the fire rules, and better yet, don’t make a fire at all. One more thing: please, don’t flick your cigarette butts.