BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) - It was by far the worst wildfire in Texas history and next Tuesday marks its one-year anniversary.
Wednesday, assistance teams evaluated how the recovery is going in Bastrop. Bottom line: lots has been done but there is still so much to do.
As many as 1.5 million trees were lost, nearly 1,700 homes. Two people died.
Asked to assess the recovery, Mike Fisher of the Bastrop Emergency Management replied, "I'm excited. You've heard all these folks say we're making progress. The people I work with remain enthusiastic and optimistic."
Six thousand acres will have to be reforested, along with 14,000 acres of grazing land, where many ranchers were forced to sell off their livestock. Fourteen million pine tree seedlings will be planted during the next five years.
It's been a relatively crime-free recovery even at the height of the fires.
"Look at other disasters around the country -- you hear about all the looting that went on," said Terry Pickering, Bastrop County Sheriff. "We were worried about that and prepared, but I was pleasantly surprised."
Of the 1,700 homes destroyed about 30 percent have been rebuilt. However nearly 800 of the displaced families were low-income and many of the houses were uninsured or underinsured.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave $27,000 to each of those families and about one-third are rebuilding.
"What we're doing is coming in behind them and helping financially with the rest of the materials and volunteer-wise with the labor," said Christine Files of the Long-Term Recovery Team.
Some 50 families remain in FEMA trailers. They will have to move out in December, unless they are in the process of rebuilding. Then they will be given an extension to March 2013.
On Tuesday, there will be a fundraiser for the recovery at the Lost Pines Resort . Tickets are still available.
The Austin Parks Department board will vote on a new design for Auditorium Shores that expands a proposed off leash dog park area by one acre.
An 8-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Leander ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state. Their latest demographic report shows a shift in the type of families moving into the district.
University of Texas System regents say they're planning to discuss the employment of Austin campus President Bill Powers, who has sparred with lawmakers and critics over his job in recent years.
Two people were robbed at gunpoint at an East Austin apartment complex Monday evening.
The persistent Arctic air mass over Central Texas has now set a record – providing the coldest 4-day stretch of temperatures to ever occur during the first 8 days of December at both Camp Mabry and ABIA.