A wildland fire that began Monday afternoon (Feb. 1) at about 5 pm in Big Bend National Park, suspected to have started from a downed power line, has consumed about 1,000 acres near Panther Junction. Crews from both the Park Service and Terlingua Fire& EMS remain on the scene.
A statement from the park this morning at about 9:30 am conveyed this update: The wildland fire that began last night near Panther Junction has moved east of Panther Junction. The road from Panther Junction to Rio Grande Village is now open to non-emergency vehicle traffic. All vehicles traveling the roads are not allowed to stop in the burned area, for safety. Power has been restored to Panther Junction, but power has been cut to Rio Grande Village as a precaution while the fire moves east. Fire crews remain on scene.
Claudia Arnberger a spokesperson for the park, told the Gazette that all roads and facilities in the park remain open except two backcountry sites: Nugent Mountain and Chilicotal.
Update at 12:30 pm 2/2/16 from the NPS: Wildand Fire crews move towards the flames to continue fighting the wildland fire burning in the park, east of Panther Junction. No structures or personnel have been harmed and there is no immediate danger to park personnel. Thirty five firefighters are involved with the fire, now over 500 acres in size.
Update at 3 pm 2/2/16 from the NPS: The fire is now 1,000 acres. The fire continues to burn within the interior of the original area, and is also burning and moving to the southeast. The southeast edges do not pose a threat to people or structures. Firefighters remain on scene.
Update at 6:30 pm 2/2/16 from the NPS: Additional firefighting resources are being requested as the fire continues to move into more inaccessible areas and over challenging terrain. Rio Grande Electric Cooperative is currently in the park, attempting to restore power to Rio Grande Village sometime tonight.