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Contact: Tom VandenBerg, 432-477-1107
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TX – With increased success in fire containment and no growth in fire acreage, firefighters at Big Bend National Park have changed the focus from fire suppression to rehabilitation of damaged areas and repair. Where the fire burned hot and any control lines were created, the ground can become channels for erosion if left unrepaired when summer monsoons come.
Firefighters are focusing work in the Boot Canyon area and other High Chisos trails with the removal of downed trees and debris from trails and campsites, where it can be done safely. Due to the presence of firefighters and equipment, the Chisos Mountains area of the Park, including the road, campground, lodge and trails will remain closed to the public until further notice. Crews are also working to ensure safety along trails from falling rocks and timber. Snags and rolling rocks are a watchout throughout the fire area.
“We’re hopeful we can begin to demobilize some crews as soon as this weekend, and possibly reopen the Basin campground and Lodge by the end of the week,” said Big Bend National Park Superintendent, Bob Krumenaker. “But visitors should check the Park web site or social media, or call, before making plans to visit the Basin, as we don’t know for sure when we’ll be able to re-open that area of the Park. We know and appreciate that people are eager to return to the heart of the Park.”
Rehabilitation is being coordinated with resource advisors and park management. When the High Chisos reopens to hikers, visitors will be well aware of the fire, but the National Park Service wants the firefighting effort to be as invisible as possible.
As drying and warming occurs, smokes might be noticed by the public and should not be a cause for alarm. Fire crews are working to ensure that when they are released, the community’s pride and joy is safe and remains a draw for visitors from all over the world.
While the repairs are being implemented, visitors are reminded that Park roads are narrow and there will still be fire vehicles in the area. Drivers are advised to remain vigilant, drive safely and be courteous throughout the Park.
The National Park Service will continue to post regular fire updates and images on Big Bend’s social media feeds. You can also go to https://Inciweb.nwcg.gov. It is an incident information source. Click on the fire location on the map, or type in South Rim 4 in the incident box and you will be able to follow daily updates.
Last updated: April 17, 2021