USA — The fire in southern Texas that started on September 4, 2011 has blackened nearly all of a 6,500-acre central Texas state park. So far, the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department estimates that about about 95 percent of the Bastrop State Park, located 25 miles east of Austin, has been scorched.
A NASA satellite has been monitoring the spread of the devastation, which now has left destroyed some 34,068 acres. In the false-color image (top), vegetation is colored a bright green, while sparsely vegetated or bare land is green-yellow. The burn scar appears in shades of red and orange. A close-up view is supplied in the natural-color image below.
Officials say all 13 stone and wooden cabins, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, have survived wildfires that flared last week. The park has National Historic Landmark status.
Superintendent Todd McClanahan said the park house where he and his family live survived the flames. McClanahan says officials are concerned that the park suffered a tremendous loss of wildlife, including endangered Houston toads.
“Everyday when I drive thru here, it’s hard,” McClanahan told CBS News correspondent Hunter Ellis. “This is a special place for people. For so many Texans and folks across the nation. And it may be sometime before we realize the full scope of the damage. The ones that still have brown on them, as we look across, those trees aren’t going to make it either, you know, it kinda gives a false sense of hope” even if we were to receive a large amount of rain, the underbrush is gone. There would be nothing to hold the soil in place.”