This video was shot September 5, 2011, on the north edge of Bastrop State Park in Texas. At first I wondered if it had been sped up, but I don’t think so. It comes from Texas Parks and Wildlife, which reports that all but about 100 acres of Bastrop State Park’s 6,000 acres of mostly pine forest have been blackened by fire this week.
Firefighters have been battling blazes in Texas all week. The fire in and around Bastrop is still the largest of the Texas fires as of today, September 6. The Bastrop fire – which is raging 30 miles east of Austin – has burned at least 600 homes and blackened 30,000 acres in the last 48 hours.
Roughly 35 other fires are still actively burning across the drought-stricken state of Texas at this time. Officials say more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and over 115,000 acres have burned in Texas in the past seven days.
Wikipedia says this about the rate at which a wildfire can spread:
They can move as fast as 10.8 kilometers per hour (6.7 mph) in forests and 22 kilometers per hour (14 mph) in grasslands.
This video shows you the reality of those numbers.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.