Drought in Texas September 2011

A special e-newsletter about dealing with the Texas drought

Wildfires in Texas: A personal account from the Bastrop County fire

By Courtney Smith

BASTROP FIRE_2011 As the Bastrop County Complex fire swept through thousands of acres and homes Sept. 4, one local homeowner did not grasp the danger rapidly approaching as he was evacuated from his home.

Mike Kubicek, who has lived in his Bastrop home nearly 10 years, was evacuated on a Labor Day weekend that he will now never forget.

“I have never had anything like this happen to me before, so this is all new to me,” said Kubicek. Like many others, it was a first for him to experience a wildfire and he said it’s definitely a sight and sound to fear. The fire would eventually burn more than 34,000 acres, combined with the Union Chapel fire.

Kubicek’s neighborhood is surrounded by 60-foot pine trees, and as 50-mile an hour winds whipped through the air that Sunday, he said it sounded like a tornado or a freight train was coming.

“I could see the smoke rolling in front and heard the sound coming in behind.” Kubicek said that he is lucky he got out when he did.

“I was trying to grab as much as possible and did not really grasp the danger I was in until I saw the wall of flames and the deafening sound of the approaching fire. The firefighter basically kicked me out and I wish I could find him today to thank him.”

It wasn’t until later that week that he was able to view a list of destroyed homes and standing homes. His home survived.

For more information on wildfires in Texas, see the Texas Forest Service.

Back to Top