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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.Former Bastrop County Judge Reflects On Historic Fire

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Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Bastrop Anniversary Events

Tue. Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.
A Night of Hope, Hyatt Lost Pines

An evening remembering the last year and looking forward toward a bright future. For tickets and more information contact Jennifer Long, 512-461-9418 or Sponsored by Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team.

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