Bastrop Wildfire


A version of this story ran in the September 2012 issue.


One year ago the most destructive wildfire in Texas history erupted in Bastrop. The fire destroyed nearly 1,700 homes and killed two people. It spread so rapidly that many people had little to no warning about the situation.

Following firefighters for a day was a surreal experience. I had never seen such commitment to a job and attention to detail as when they walked through a smoldering moonscape that was once a neighborhood.

When the fires were extinguished and the media attention faded, the true hardships began for most people. Clean up took months, then the headaches with banks, insurance companies and contractors started. Putting the pieces back together has been a slow process that will continue for years to come.

See more of Jeff Heimsath’s work at

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to [email protected].