The Bastrop fires that burned in September and October of 2011 were devastating. After they were put out, I had the opportunity to document the damage from the air for a graduate school reporting project. The aerial view of more than 30,000 burned acres gave me a real sense of the fire’s immense scale, and it was heartbreaking. From the air, the devastation looks abstract, possessing a desolate beauty only nature can create. But seeing the foundations of homes in the charred landscape and the park trails through a forest that no longer exists, the emotional, financial and environmental toll also become apparent.
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