News Release

Downed Powerlines Spark Small Wildfire in the Chisos

Big Bend fire personnel working to contain the fire.
Downed pole, lines, and burned vegetation.


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News Release Date: February 24, 2023

Contact: Tom VandenBerg, 432-477-1107

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TEXAS - A quick response from Big Bend National Park fire personnel halted a small wildfire caused by wind-downed power lines in the Chisos Mountains.

At approximately 3:00 pm on Thursday, February 23, park headquarters at Panther Junction experienced a power outage. Not long after, park volunteers reported smoke along the road into the Chisos Basin. Big Bend National Park fire personnel quickly responded and discovered smoke and active flame from a single downed power pole. The fire was estimated at ¼ acre in size and slowly burning through a mixture of grass and desert brush. 

Responders were able to quickly stop the fire's spread, and by 7:00 PM the Green Gulch Fire was officially declared contained. Crews from Rio Grande Electric were on scene early Friday morning to replace the pole and repair the lines. Power was fully restored in the afternoon. 

Strong winds and low humidity have elevated the fire danger to critical warning levels. “I would like to express deep gratitude for the fast response of Big Bend’s fire management team,” said acting Deputy Superintendent Rick Gupman. “Their quick action limited the spread and averted the potential of a major wildfire.” 

Fire and Smoke at Green Gulch Fire
The fire consumed 1/4 acre of desert brush and dry grass.


Firefighters at the Green Gulch Fire
Firefighters responded quickly to the Green Gulch fire.


Last updated: February 25, 2023

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PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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