Complete coverage of Texas wildfires

Uncertainty Over Rebuilding After Texas Wildfires

Local officials worry that people may not return

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    BASTROP, TX - SEPTEMBER 7: Coppell Fire Department firefighters knock down a house wall as they hit hot spots in the wildfire affected areas September 7, 2011 around Bastrop, Texas. Several large wildfires have been devastating Bastrop County for the last three days, but are now 30 percent contained, according to the Texas Forest Service. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

    Three months after the costliest wildfires in Texas history, parts of Bastrop remain abandoned. The rubble from destroyed homes has been cleared away, and nothing but empty home foundations remain.

    But other parts of town are in the midst of a construction boom as those displaced build bigger and better homes.

    The fire destroyed 1,673 homes, killed two people and charred 33,000 acres in and around Bastrop, about 30 miles southeast of Austin, Texas. That's a zone of destruction more than twice the size of Manhattan.

    Local officials concede some fire victims have moved away and still likely will.

    Those staying, however, are vowing to make the best of the opportunity for a fresh start -- even if the memories of the flames remain painful.