Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Bastrop Complex Wildfire

Latest Posts

Here’s What Climate Change and Urban Sprawl Look Like in Texas

The climate is changing, and Texas is growing. For a bird’s eye view of these developments, NASA has put together a ‘State of Flux‘ image gallery that shows how climate change, urbanization, and natural disasters have changed certain geographic features in Texas, and across the world. The gallery puts two satellite images side-by-side to show the changes. […]

As Wildfire Season Burns On, Lessons Abound in Bastrop, Texas

Take a trip to the lake at Bastrop State Park, and -at first glance- everything appears normal. The loblolly pine trees that line the shore are singed, but not decimated by the wildfires that struck there in 2011. A turtle suns itself on a rock, a lizard scurries into the underbrush. Look closer and you […]

High Wildfire Risk, Longer Fire Season Possible This Year

Major wildfires could occur across the Southwest this year, including in Texas, according to several scientists on a Climate Nexus panel Tuesday. Now that Texas in its third year of drought, the state is likely to experience a longer fire season as a result of dry conditions and rising summer temperatures. High fire risk conditions […]

Federal Cuts Mean Fewer Resources This Wildfire Season

First, the good news for Texas. Most of the state is not expected to be at an “above average” risk for wildfires this summer, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The reason for that might depress you: in parts of the state with less vegetation, like West Texas, years of drought and fire mean […]

Bills Aim to Ease Prescribed Burns to Prevent Wildfires

Two bills promoting responsible prescribed burning received a public hearing in the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee Wednesday morning. Both bills would indirectly influence the ease with which landowners could use this wildfire prevention technique on their land. SB 702 by state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, would establish standards for prescribed burners, as well as training, education […]

Please Welcome the Lost Pines Back to Bastrop

During the Labor Day Wildfires of 2011, tens of thousands of acres burned in Central Texas, destroying over 1,600 homes and killing 1.5 million trees. Some of those trees were true Texas treasures: the Lost Pines of Bastrop State Park, a unique forest nearly a hundred miles apart from the Piney Woods of East Texas. Ninety […]

In Texas, ‘Hot Weather’ is Becoming a Relative Concept

It’s the lunch rush on a warm November afternoon at the Hog Wild BBQ food trailer in Austin, and owner Mark Stimak says business is good. This time last year, he remembers, he was still recovering from the dry, hot summer. A summer that, in Austin, brought 90 days of triple-digit heat. “It was just unbearable, […]

Texas’ Most Hated Tree: How Drought, Wildfires Renewed Interest in Cedar Eradication

When people complain about cedar trees in Texas, they’re usually talking about allergies: the dreaded “cedar fever” that makes life a nightmare for millions of sufferers throughout large swaths of the state. But at the Texas Capital last week, lawmakers were talking about cedars for other, very elemental, reasons: water and fire. Ashe Junipers, commonly […]

Why Wildfire Seasons Are Likely to Get Longer and More Devestating

Wildfire season across the American West is getting longer, and more destructive year by year, according to a new report from the research organization Climate Central. Noting that the total area burned in the American West this year is 30 percent larger than average, the report blames recent ferociously destructive fire seasons on a variety […]

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