1,500-Acre Fire in Big Bend National Park Now Contained

Park rangers have mostly contained the fire and expect to have it extinguished by the end of the weekend.

By Laura RiceFebruary 5, 2016 3:17 pm,

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows Texas is completely drought-free. Only small sections of the state – just over 2 percent – are considered “abnormally dry.” But one of those dry areas is on fire right now, including Big Bend National Park. So far more than 1,500 acres have burned. Marfa Public Radio’s Travis Bubenik has been following the story.

Bubenik says parks spokespeople have said the fire is 75 percent contained and aren’t expected it to spread anymore today.

“They’ve gotten a good perimeter around the edges,” he says. “They’re expecting to have this thing fully contained by this weekend.”

Investigations show the fire started with downed power line and heavy winds in the area earlier this week, up to 70 miles an hour, accelerated the spark that lit Monday evening, Bubenik says.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What Big Bend National Park visitors have said about being on the front lines of the fire

– How the flames spread in the park and how some visitors were trapped inside

– The benefits of wildfire in the park itself and what park rangers have said about the damage