• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

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  • Extreme Water Shortage

    Extreme water shortage throughout park. Visitors are limited to 5 gallons per day, and are encouraged to conserve further when possible. Please consider bringing your own water to the park.

Fire Management

Fire Suppression
Fire Suppression
NPS Photo/Jennette Jurado
 

Thanks to recent research in fire ecology we are now realizing that many plant and animal species actually thrive when fires regularly burn through their habitat. We also know that in places like Big Bend National Park, fire is a normal part of a healthy natural environment. Based on that understanding, the National Park Service, like most land management agencies, has radically changed its policy on fire management and fire suppression.

Restoring Fire in Big Bend
We will always have fires in Big Bend. We have learned that our original policy of total fire suppression not only made drastic changes in the local ecosystem, it also led to a hazardous buildup of dead wood and brush.

The new policies and attitudes towards fire management will restore and reinvigorate Big Bend's plant and animal communities to more natural conditions. Proper fire management will also enable us to more easily contain future fires that threaten human life, property, and precious resources.

Did You Know?

Hikers along the South Rim Trail

In 1944, Big Bend's first year of operation as a national park, only 1,409 visitors entered the park. Today, annual visitation averages around 350,000 visitors. More...