BASTROP, Texas -- On Labor Day weekend in 2011 a wildfire started that killed two people, destroyed 1,700 homes, and damaed many more. While people work to rebuild their lives, there's a renewal of nature in Bastrop State Park.
Patsye Roesler has been visiting the park for the past five years from her home outside of Houston.
"Right now the birds are coming back again so there's lot of cardinals," she said. "You see all the saplings growing up, and some lone trees with green on top."
Roesler didn't miss last year's one year fire anniversary and didn't want to miss this one. She says you can see the difference this year. They've done renovations and planted saplings.
The wildfires destroyed 97 percent of the trees in Bastrop State Park. There is regrowth. But campers, even repeat visitors, are told to keep a map with them at all times because the absence of trees gives the park a different perspective.
Each visitor is given safety rules upon entrance. Due to the 2011 wildfire, visitors are told the park still has various hazards, including falling trees and branches, sharp roots, stump holes and loose soil. Visitors are asked to stay on the trail when hiking, to help prevent erosion.
Solange Florez is from northwest Austin. This is her first time at the park.
"It really kind of blows you away to see them all fallen down and wondering what it looked like before when it was all greenery," she said.
Florez hopes to watch the rebirth and is already planning next year's trip.
The Burning Pine 5k, 10K & 1K Junior Ranger Run is Saturday, September 7th. It's a benefit for the park.