BASTROP, Texas - It has been 10 years since a complex fire in Bastrop ripped through 34,000 acres of land destroying nearly 2,000 homes and over a million trees. Saturday, people came together in Bastrop to remember what happened and how far they've come.
"I will not forget about it. I'm reminded of it every day," said Randy Fritz.
Randy Fritz says he remembers the fire vividly.
"I really have not gone back to that area. I just can't go back there with too many bad memories," he said.
A decade ago, Randy was living in Bastrop with his wife and daughter when they were called to evacuate because of the fire. Randy says he had no idea what he was in for.
"We felt pretty comfortable that we wouldn't get burned out. That's why we didn't take very much stuff with us. Even the next day when I went back to get some things, I did not think our neighborhood was going to get hit," he said.
An hour later, his home was hit making it a total loss.
"I could see this ruin of a home that we had just built. I built myself two years earlier and all around the house were these husks of trees. There were some large holes in the ground where the trees had been in the trunks like we're basically incinerating the ground to kind of look like dinosaur tracks," said Randy.
Randy and his family moved to Austin after the fire but recently moved back to Bastrop. He says it was hard to come back, but his love for the county took priority.
Since the fire, Bastrop has created its long-term recovery team dedicated to helping the community in times of need. The county has also planted hundreds of tree saplings.