Two September fires in California killed six people and destroyed more than 1,300 homes. Thirty-thousand people had to flee. The Valley Fire, north of San Francisco, was the third-most destructive in the state’s history.
Four years ago, Bastrop County, Texas, suffered the most devastating fire in state history. Fifty square miles and nearly 2,000 houses burned, just half an hour outside of Austin. Afterward, residents faced a choice: rebuild or hit the road.
Melissa Bishop left the city and moved out to Bastrop about 20 years ago.