A wildfire that started in Mexico on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and jumped the Rio Grande river began burning in the upper tree canopies on the U.S. side on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 around 1800 hours.
TX A&M fire crews holding the line near the Cottonwood Campground. | Photo Credit – K Hines/TX A&M Forest Service
It is burning now along three miles of the Rio Grande between Santa Elena Canyon and Buenos Aires campsites in the Big Bend National Park. Lat/Long 29.134, -103.514
The cause is currently under investigation. It was determined to have ignited on the Mexican side
The fire has destroyed 990 acres of riparian vegetation, old growth mesquite and non-native plants, such as river cane and salt cedar.
Additionally, the historic barracks building which was the location of the La Harmonia Store and Castolon Visitor Center suffered extensive damage and with a restroom facility building.
Destroyed barracks. | Photo Credit: NPS/T.VandenBerg.
Fire crews were able to save other historic and modern structures, as well as providing structure protection to the Cottonwood Campground.
Fire crews have successfully gained a 50% containment status and will continue with fire suppression on the fire’s edge, engage in mop-up operations and cold trail.
There are 44 fire personnel assigned to this incident.
At this time, the Old Maverick Road, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, and River Road West from Buenos Aires to Castolon are closed for visitor safety and for fire crews to work as efficiently as possible. (Big Bend National Park)
Fire Managers expect the weather temps to increase into the 100’s, low RH and wind which we all know is prime elements to a firestorm.
(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 5/25/2019 @ 0030 hours PDT