Ten years ago, Texas experienced its worst wildfire disaster in the state’s history. More than 31,000 fires burned across more than 4 million acres of land in the state. There were 6,500 homes destroyed, and thousands were evacuated.
The Bastrop complex fire in September of 2011 was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Several factors came together to cause the massive blaze, including the worst drought in Texas on record since the 1950s Dust Bowl era and high winds caused by Tropical Storm Lee, which made landfall on the Gulf Coast.
Camp Swift, just north of Bastrop, is a military installation used by the National Guard. We climbed into a pickup truck with Adam Turner with the Texas A&M Forest Service. He took us to a location in the middle of the camp. Turner described what we’re going to see.
“It is a training program to teach a variety of cooperators and agency personnel different classes and that they need for wildland firefighting,” he explained.