This weekend, a wild land fire broke out in the backcountry of the Big Bend National Park, leaving traces of smoke throughout the area and forcing the park to temporarily close all facilities, trails and campgrounds in the Chisos Basin as a precaution.
Officials with Big Bend National Park believe lightning on Saturday evening set off the blaze, which has now spread over an estimated 1,000 acres of the Juniper Canyon area and Chisos Mountains foothills. Fire fighters from the park, with help from crews from Mexico and New Mexico, are fighting the wildland fire. On Monday, the park brought in a helicopter to help too, says Jennette Jurado, a park ranger and public information officer for Big Bend.
“Of course bringing in resources like a helicopter gives us better aerial recon on the fire so we can get good mapping data points,” Jurado says. “But also could allow us to do water drops, fire-suppression techniques if the fire warranted that.”
Juarado says right now the fire is growing slowly, but estimates crews should be able to contain it within a couple of days.
“However, that comes with, if the situation changes, if the winds shift, if the fire builds up again it could be a much longer incident.”
Officials say there’s not an immediate threat to the Chisos Basin right now.