The 2011 Labor Day Fires: A Narrow Escape in Spicewood

Photo by Reshma Kirpalani/KUT News

Melvin Pulver of Spicewood lost his mobile home and everything else in the fire a year ago.

This weekend marks a year since massive wildfires tore through Central Texas, burning more than 1,600 homes, killing two people, and uprooting countless lives.

Over the course of the last year, KUT News and StateImpact Texas have been collecting stories from the people who lived through the fires and reporting on some of the causes, and complications, behind the destruction.

Today, the story of how one man survived the Spicewood fire through quick thinking and a little luck, as told by those who lived through it, Debbie Opdahl and Melvin Pulver. You can listen to it in the audio player above.

A year ago next Sunday will mark the first anniversary of the wildfires that tore through Central Texas, burning more than 1,600 homes, leveling whole swaths of land and causing firefighters, county officials and homeowners alike to rethink how they manage their land.

While Texas has been blessed with above average rains so far this year, this time last year the state was in very different shape. All this week we’ll be returning to the fires of 2011 as part of a special project with KUT, Forged in Flames.

On Tuesday, September 4 at 3 p.m., KUT 90.5 FM will air a special one-hour documentary telling the story of the fires. It will air again Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. You can listen on air and online, and stay tuned for more this week. 

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