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Forest Fire crosses freeway in Bastrop, TX on Sept 4, 2011

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Uploaded on Sep 4, 2011

A central Texas forest fire in Bastrop on Highway 21 crosses the freeway after winds from Tropical Storm Lee caused an extreme fire alert in Central Texas. The fire was shooting out from the trees however they can only be seen in a few parts of the video. The Bastrop police department shut down the freeway shortly after this video was taken.

This was when the wildfires first began, so it had not hit the news yet. The fires were concealed from our point of view up until my mom started filming, at which point we immediately started looking for the first available turnaround. This viral video was featured on every major US news network and the NPR documentary, "Forged in Flames: An Oral History of the Labor Day Wildfires."

The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas state history. The fire destroyed 96 percent of the 6,565 acre Bastrop State Park. The September 2011 Texas wildfires destroyed over 32,000 acres of land, resulting in the loss of over 1,645 homes, 34,068 acres, and the death of 2 people.

See my video "Forest Fire in Bastrop, TX - 1 Year Later" to see the impact on Bastrop State Park 1 year after the catastrophic Texas forest fires ravished the once-stunning landscape.

The Texas wildfires accounted for nearly 50% of all acreage burned in the United States that year. In total, 2,947 homes, 2,700 non-residential structures and 4,000,000 acres were burned. Firefighters from 43 states attempted to contain the blazes, 2 of which lost their lives. The 453 wildfires of Labor Day weekend, which spanned from Bastrop to Magnolia and beyond, claimed 6 lives and had an estimated economic impact of $3.4 billion, resulting in a formal declaration by Governor Rick Perry that Texas was engulfed in a "state of disaster."

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