News Release

Temporary Closures for Prescribed Burn on 4/6-4/7

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Date: April 5, 2022
Contact: Tom VandenBerg, 432-477-1107
Contact: Heather Rickleff, 317-508-2932

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TEXAS – On April 6th and 7th, Big Bend National Park staff plan to initiate a 43-acre prescribed burn along the Rio Grande. Fire managers will be using prescribed fire as a natural resource habitat treatment to control exotic giant cane. The project area is located along the River Corridor from Daniel’s Ranch to the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail. During this time, visitors will encounter temporary closures at the Daniel's Ranch area, the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail, and the Rio Grande Village Boat Launch. 

The National Park Service uses prescribed fires to manage vegetation, reduce fuels, and restore more natural ecosystems. This fire is specifically planned to reduce stands of non-native river cane, restore willow habitat, and open up banks of the river for recreational use. This dense fuel source, if ignited, also threatens nearby Daniel’s Ranch historic buildings. Over the decades, the Rio Grande has become increasingly channelized, as invasive river cane forms dense thickets and traps sediment. With the removal of this cane, the river can carry the sediment downstream, opening up gravel bars and wider flood plains again. These in turn are beneficial to wildlife such as mussels, fish, and beaver, and provide camp sites for river users. Resource staff will follow the burn with an herbicide application to the river cane.

The burn will be conducted by park staff, Yellowstone fire fighters, and the Los Diablos fire crew. “We are fortunate to have 30 years of loyal service from our neighbors across the Rio in Boquillas, San Vicente, and Santa Elena supporting our efforts,” said the park’s Fire Management Officer D.W. Ivans. “We are also taking advantage of optimal weather conditions and the existing RGV campground closure to conduct this important prescribed fire.”

Park visitors should drive cautiously as there may be more traffic due to operations associated with the prescribed fire, high spring visitation, and areas of road resurfacing. Please follow the speed limit. Visitors are encouraged to check park alerts and conditions at www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.



Last updated: April 5, 2022

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Big Bend National Park , TX 79834-0129

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