Rolling Pines Fire brings back memories of previous Bastrop County fires

Bastrop County residents are all too familiar with wildfires. The scenes from the Rolling Pines fire look all too much like the Hidden Pines fire of 2015.

"We had an incident today where we had some very seasoned firefighters, well over experienced, expert firefighters, saving homes in the neighborhood. And the fire was so bad they got trapped doing that work, fortunately they are fine, they are experienced, we got them through it, but that's how dangerous it is," said Mike Fisher, the then leader of Bastrop County Emergency Management.

The devastating fire burned nearly 5,000 acres, took some homes with it, leaving a burn scar in its path. Residents remember seeing not only the immense amount of flames, but the bellowing smoke that carried for miles.

 "Well I was looking out that window taking a little sip of my drink and I looked up and noticed that’s an awful lot of smoke," said Rachel Scheideler, Chevron employee at the time.

There was another fire, that hit the county in 2011, the costliest wildfire in the state's history...the Bastrop County Complex Fire. 

Aerials of fire damage in Bastrop County, TX where wildfires claimed 38,000 acres and over 1,500 homes with two deaths reported. The trees in Bastrop State Park were the hardest hit with over 95% of the park acreage blackened or destroyed. | Location

"It was a really sad day. It was a wonderful house for us. It was designed just for us, by us, built by us," said Jeri Winslett, homeowner in Bastrop County in 2011.

That fire killed two people, and burned more than 30,000 acres in the county, displacing dozens. During the recovery effort, the county officials faced much scrutiny.

"We are dedicated staff, but we are not miracle workers. We just work within the confines of laws that are in front of us and the funding and resources that are available to us," said Judge Paul Pape, Bastrop County.

Now that the county is facing yet another disaster, hope for yet another recovery remains alive.

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