Central Texas wildfires

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

It’s been a pretty busy summer so far when it comes to fighting wildfires in Central Texas.

KUT NEWS; FILIPA RODRIGUES; FLICKR.COM/ESCHIPUL; RESHMA KIRPALANI

The Hidden Pines wildfire in Bastrop County is bringing back memories of an even more destructive fire four years ago.

The 2011 Labor Day wildfires took two lives and uprooted thousands of others in Central Texas. More than 1,600 homes were destroyed, landmarks disappeared and habitats changed.

For each statistic there is a story.

Texas Forest Service

UPDATE 11:30 pm: According to the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office, Harmon Road evacuations have begun on a voluntary basis only at this time.

UPDATE 11 pm: As fire and emergency crews continue to battle the Hidden Pines fire in Bastrop County, 150 homes have now been declared threatened, and officials are starting to evacuate homes on Harmon Road.

Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News

The 2015 wildfire season is fast approaching. In Colorado yesterday, federal officials talked about the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires across the country.

Here in Texas, the threat of wildfires is not as high as in other states, but that’s because of recent flooding. 

Experts like Tom Spencer, who heads the predictive services department at the Texas A&M Forest Service, say this year, the upcoming wildfire season is causing them less stress.

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Today marks two years since the start of the Labor Day wildfires – the worst in Texas history.

The fires in Bastrop, Pflugerville, Spicewood and Steiner Ranch in September of 2011 killed two people, destroyed 1,600 homes and burned tens of thousands of acres of land.

KUT produced an oral history titled “Forged in Flames” last year for the first anniversary of the fires. Go to KUT.org to hear the documentary, produced by KUT's Emily Donahue and the KUT News staff.

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