BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — The “welcome” sign is the same, but the home it hangs on is new. Nearly three and a half years ago, we introduced you to Cyndi Poe after home went up in flames. Her house and hundreds of others were causalities of the wildfires throughout Bastrop.
“You can look out here and see what’s gone out there on the state park,” said Poe.
34,000 acres and 1,600 homes were destroyed. Poe didn’t waste time moving on.
“It was a Thursday, I believe, and on Sunday it was already rockin’ and rollin’ things were going. I mean things were moving. Our house was being rebuilt,” said Poe.
While Poe’s rebuild happened quickly, the re-growth is moving slowly.
“You can see it’s popping up, it’s coming back,” said Poe as she pointed to new trees
Local organizations are helping speed up the process. Saturday, more than 20,000 trees were given to Bastrop neighbors, passing the one million mark since the fires with a celebration to mark the milestone.
“In total we’ll do 2.2 million trees. But, now that it’s year three you can see that the trees planted in the first year are 4 or 5 feet high,” said Thais Perkins, executive director of TreeFolks.
Since the wildfire, trees have been planted, homes rebuilt, and senses sharpened.
“We’re more aware of our surroundings. If you ever smell smoke, we’re always looking around at where it might be or whatever,” said Poe.
As the sun sets one day further away from the fires, it’s one day closer to trees rising in Bastrop.