Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Receives Federal Grant for to Study Bastrop Fire Aftermath
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will receive a federal grant from the National Park Service to study the effects of the Bastrop fire on Bastrop State Park’s historic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). The $25,000 grant will fund an evaluative study.
Despite that almost all of the park’s CCC-built structures, which date back to the 1930s, survived the worst fire in Texas history, the lethal flames and smoke came within feet of these invaluable buildings and may still have caused long-term or even unforeseen damage.
“With the recent wildfires, I’ve learned to appreciate these historic structures even more,” said State Parks Regional Director Todd McClanahan, who was also the Bastrop State Park Complex Superintendent at the time of the fire last Labor Day. “Knowing just how close we came to losing these buildings forever forces me to admire their beauty with a different perspective. They are so much more than historic buildings, they are historic treasures.”
In addition to TPWD staff, Fran Gale, who teaches in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Texas School of Architecture and is director of the UT Architectural Conservation Lab, and Casey Gallagher, who is a graduate of the UT program and is now an independent conservator, will help administer the program study.
Results from this research are expected to serve as an application model nationwide for other historic structures and cultural resources facing potential wildfire damage.