Fire at Big Bend National Park causes structural damages

Fire at Big Bend National Park causes structural damages


A fire last night damaged structures in historic Castolon at Big Bend National Park. Pam LeBlanc photo

A 100-acre fire last night caused major damages at Big Bend National Park. This just in from Tom VandenBerg, chief of interpretation at Big Bend National Park:

“Big Bend suffered a major loss last evening, as a wildfire destroyed the La Harmonia Store/Visitor Center building, restrooms, and damaged one of the historic homes in the Castolon Historic District. The fire is estimated at 100 acres.
The fire began on the Mexico side of the river near Castolon. The fire was reported as having jumped across the Rio at approximately 1800 hours. Soon after it spread into the historic area. The fire continued burning to the west towards the campground but did not enter the campground. The campground was evacuated. The Castolon housing area was not affected and was not evacuated. Crews were fighting the fire until early this AM, and will continue today.
The most important news is that everyone is okay and accounted for.
Current resources deployed are:
  • Two structural crews (BIBE and Terlingua)
  • BIBE wildland crew
  • Two water tenders
  • fire engine from Alpine
  • TX state wildfire crew
Additional crews (Diablos) and engines will be arriving today. John Morlock is now the Incident Commander.
As of now, the Ross Maxwell Drive and Maverick Road are closed to entry. We will need to keep the access routes free and clear for emergency vehicles and equipment.
Jennette and I will put out an official press release later this AM, and we’re posting updates on the park’s Facebook page as things develop.
With the heartbreaking loss of the La Harmonia Store, a major icon of Big Bend’s history is now gone, along with a primary visitor services facility. The major focus today is to ensure the safety of firefighters, employees, and park visitors. Crews will work to continue to contain the fire, and ensure the protection of remaining structures and resources.
We have an amazing staff, partners, and park supporters, and we’ll get through this. We’ll keep everyone informed as things develop.”




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