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Update on the Bastrop, TX fires

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Quick update on the Bastrop, TX fires. According to local news outlets, the wildfires are 70 percent contained. Of the 34,000 acres burned by the wildfire, 6,400 acres were in Bastrop State Park.

In addition to the many homes lost or damaged by the fires, two historic Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) structures have been damaged. Many of the rustic cabins and other structures in the State Park were constructed during the Great Depression using cedar and pine from the surrounding forest.

And sadly, our friend the endangered Houston Toad is losing a lot of its habitat with the loss of the pine forest and ground cover.

Texas Parks and Wildlife, the state parks agency, captured amazing footage of the fire racing across a part of Bastrop State Park.

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Lou Jost 11:40 pm 09/13/2011

    That was amazing to watch. I wonder if Texas Parks and Wildlife had been doing controlled burns periodically in past years. I suspect not. But much of this region has a fire-adapted ecology, and many of those trees can withstand light, fast-moving brush fires. If debris does not accumulate over many years, I suspect these fires would not cause much damage in the park. It was neat to see how fast this fire moved across the grassy area. I bet stuff (plant roots, bugs, Houston Toads) just below the surface was unharmed.

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