Central Texas Wildfires
- Central Texas Wildfire Special
- First Responder Remembers Bastrop Wildfires
- Insurance Not Enough To Rebuild Homes For Some Bastrop County Fire Victims
- STAR Flight Crew Recalls 2011 Central Texas Labor Day Wildfires
- Bastrop Co. Dispatcher Remembers Fires One Year Later
- Aerial Video Of 2011 Bastrop County Fire
- Former Bastrop County Judge Reflects On Historic Fire
- Bastrop Couple Feels Blessed One Year After Wildfires
- Bastrop Fire Victim Finds Hope In Simple Things
- One Year Later Bastrop Families Still Struggling To Rebuild
- Restoration Begins At Fire-Ravaged Bastrop Park
- Bastrop Honors First Responders For Fire Anniversary
- Firefighters Look Back On Spicewood Wildfire One Year Later
- Bastrop Wildfire Recovery Update, One Year Later
- Campaign Starts To Replace 4 Million Burned Bastrop Trees
Former Bastrop County Judge Reflects On Historic Fire
Updated: Tuesday, September 4 2012, 06:00 PM CDT
Former Bastrop County Judge, Ronnie McDonald, was often the face behind the tragic Bastrop fires. Hundreds of evacuated residents, not knowing if their homes burned, waited for him to speak every morning.
“Out of this, something great is going to come and the reason something great is going to come is because of who we are as a community,” he told a packed room of people in the Bastrop Convention Center nearly one year ago.
When McDonald reflects on those days, he says he remembers watching his community develop.
“They were putting aside differences, not having strife or discord, but saying we're going to work together on one accord to make sure we save lives. That was amazing to me.”
“We had folks whose homes were burning and they were here in the convention center still working and when you see that type of commitment, you realize we're all in,” McDonald continued.
He said there could have been better communication or different last minute decisions, but the unity of the Bastrop residents trumped everything.
“Could we have done better,” he asked himself? “Yes. But was it a good team effort? Yes.”
McDonald insists that spirit remains in Bastrop today. As the blackened pine covered hills, serve as a heavy reminder that they survived and will thrive after the worst wildfire in Texas history.
McDonald resigned after 14 years as Bastrop County Judge in March of last year. He ran for Congress but was defeated in the Democratic primary. Today, he says he's working as a consultant at a Round Rock law firm.