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Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-1108
On Thursday, August 11, 2011, a lightning-caused fire was ignited on Burro Mesa within Big Bend National Park. Park fire fighters, including 13 Los Diablos and an additional four park fire personnel, responded to the blaze. Brent Woffinden, from the National Park Service’s Intermountain regional office, was the Incident Commander for the fire. The primary objectives in suppressing this fire were fire fighter and public safety, as well as resource protection and benefit.
The Burro Mesa fire has been declared 100% contained as of August 15, 2011, at 1,946 acres. Considerable rain fell on the area of the burn on Friday and Saturday of this past weekend, aiding in containment.
A second fire, the Elephant Tusk Fire, was ignited by the same lightning event on Thursday. Park rangers hiked out to the fire Friday and found no indication of smoke. On Saturday, the park pilot and duty officer overflew the fire finding no smoke, mapped the fire’s acreage, and declared the fire out at 280 acres.
The area of Burro Mesa is a lesser visited area of the park with no paved roads; therefore no closures or disruptions were experienced by park visitors. Currently the fire will be monitored for several more days, stated rotational Fire Duty Officer Ed Waldron. After that time, if no additional need is found, the fire will be declared out.
Park Superintendent Bill Wellman said, “We are very happy that fire fighters’ fast efforts combined with rain kept the cost of this fire to a minimum as well as causing few, if any, visitor interruptions.”