Somber anniversary: Wildfires destroyed homes 1 year ago

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HOUSTON - It's been a year since wildfires destroyed dozens of homes in Waller, Montgomery and Grimes counties.

Dead tree trunks and branches poking out of new green growth are constant reminders of the devastating fires.

Nearly 19,000 acres over the three counties were scorched. Seventy-nine homes were destroyed and dozens were damaged.

Families had to evacuate for more than two weeks in some areas. They had no idea if they would have a home to go back to or not.

John Baker and his wife eventually got back into the Remington Forest subdivision in Waller County to find their home was consumed by flames. They had insurance on their home and garage but nothing else.

"Been married 53 years and every bit of it was in that house," Baker said. "They say you can replace all that, but you can't."

There are empty slabs where houses once were. Many people decided not to rebuild. Those who did go back said they understand why others did not.

"It was the scariest day of my life," Scarlett McFarland said. "I had never seen anything like it. I hope and pray that I never see it again."

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