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Bastrop Texas — The cause of a massive central Texas wildfire that killed two people and destroyed more than 1,500 homes was most likely electrical, fire officials said Tuesday.
The Texas Forest Service did not elaborate on the cause in a release announcing the end of the investigation into the wildfire that began Labor Day weekend and burned out of control for several days, ultimately blackening more than 50 square miles. Forest Service officials didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The massive blaze forced thousands of residents to flee their homes for days in Bastrop County, about 25 miles east of Austin.
Texas is in the midst of one of its worst wildfire outbreaks in state history. A perilous mix of hot temperatures, strong winds and a historic drought spawned the Bastrop-area fire, the largest of the nearly 190 wildfires the forest service says erupted in early September.
Two other people died in an East Texas fire earlier this month, and more than 1,700 homes were destroyed across the state.
The Bastrop blaze was the most destructive in state history, and the Insurance Council of Texas estimates losses from the wildfire outbreak that started over Labor Day will reach $250 million.