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Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-1108
Big Bend National Park plans to start prescribed fire operations the week of June 9, 2008, if environmental factors such as wind, temperature, relative humidity, and fuel moisture levels are favorable. The area to be burned consists of 995 acres located northeast of Panther Junction, adjacent to Highway 385 on the West and Hannold Draw on the East. The prescribed fire is expected to last up to six days, including initial preparations, the actual burn, and clean-up activities.
The primary objective of this burn is to reduce the threat of a wildland fire threatening the Panther Junction developed area. Secondary objectives are to reintroduce fire into an area already treated by a natural event resulting in the restoration of native Chihuahuan Desert habitat.
Prescribed fires are based on burn plans that must be approved by the park superintendent before any of the recommended actions are implemented. Park fire managers plan the prescribed burns in consultation with resource managers, and all prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
Thorough planning is used to minimize smoke impacts; however there may be some periods of smoke being blown across the road on Highway 385 and Hwy 118 near the Panther Junction area.