Big Bend National Park
National Park Service
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834, TX 79834
Wildfire at Big Bend National Park
On the morning of May 14th, a wildland fire was spotted in the Juniper Canyon area of Big Bend National Park. Lightning from the previous evening is the presumed cause of ignition.
International and interagency response included Big Bend National Park fire crewmembers, the Los Diablos fire crew, a helitack crew, five Forest Service hotshot crews, and a Type 3 wildland fire team. In all, the fire was worked on by 162 personnel, and burned an estimated 944 acres. No park structures were damaged, nor have any injuries occurred. Fire personnel have been released and are returning to their home units.
While the fire was actively burning, the nearby Glenn Springs road complex and the Chisos Mountains were closed to the public for safety reasons, and to allow fire response access to the roads and parking areas for staging crews and equipment. As of May 19, 2017, all areas have been reopened to the public.
The wildfire was managed as a resource benefit burn, with plans for suppression in localized areas if the fire moved to locations that would threaten infrastructure or public safety. Wildfires are a natural occurrence, and serve as an important tool for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Fires break down organic matter and enrich the soil, as well as clear away dead and diseased vegetation.
“Thank you to all the responders for your hard work and quick response. We look forward to watching this area regenerate and study more about fire’s effects in desert areas,” says acting Superintendent David Larson.