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Fire near Castolon

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Offline Hookim

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2019, 12:44:32 PM »
That's sad. I really like that old store.

They had these...

That's the first thing I considered. When I was preparing to do the Outer Mountain Loop (which I've yet to do), I took an REI class with a woman who said the store and those pops were a post-hike reward. Such sad news.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2019, 12:45:17 PM »
I recall seeing a fire suppression system inside the Castolon Store, retrofitted with up to date sprinkler piping, but my guess is these are designed to deal with a fire that starts from within the structure.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 01:57:00 PM by Flash »

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Offline Keepa

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2019, 02:06:40 PM »
I am very saddened. I have spent many great moments in that store.

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Offline marufo

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2019, 03:23:00 PM »
New Facebook post:

Castolon Fire: update (2:30pm). As more information has come in about the timeline and the initial response to the fire, we wanted to share more of the story of what happened last night and the tremendous efforts of firefighting staff from the park and our partners.

Around 6pm yesterday, as the fire first entered the park, additional wildland crews as well as structural crews were called in. At that time, shade temperatures were near 109 degrees, with single digit relative humidity. Winds were pushing the fire NW toward the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, and based on fire behavior at that time, the fire was expected to stay in the lower elevations along the Rio Grande burning the mesquite and river cane bosques.

A dramatic shift in the gusting winds blew a shower of embers east and fell across the Castolon Historic District, igniting the roof of the bathrooms and the historic shade ramada of the barracks building (La Harmonia store and Castolon Visitor Center). This shade structure served as a wick, drawing the fire directly into the building attic. Structural fire crews were on scene with engines, but despite their training and using thousands of gallons of water, were unable to extinguish these buildings.

Crews had to quickly prioritize which structures they could safely and effectively protect. They shifted their focus to the Officer's Quarters, which was beginning to smolder. By peeling away stucco, they gained access to the interior wooden structure that was beginning to burn, and were able to save this structure with minimal scorching.

Of the 8 historic buildings at Castolon, 6 of them were ultimately saved by both wildland and structural crews who worked through the night. We want to thank the firefighting staff from the park, Terlingua Fire & EMS, and the Texas Forest Service crews for their incredibly hard and heroic work.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2019, 03:36:50 PM »
These folks are such heroes. I canít imagine the intensity of this kind of emergency.


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2019, 03:40:20 PM »
Such sadness here.  As tragic as it is.  The situation could always be worse. Thank God for all the heroes involved.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2019, 03:44:23 PM »
NPS update from a few minutes ago:

"Of the historic buildings at Castolon, all but 2 of them were ultimately saved by both wildland and structural crews who worked through the night. The saved structures include: the two Officers Quarters buildings, Magdalena House, Garlick House, Guard Shack, granary and tack room, Alvino House, as well as the historic wagon and steam pump. We want to thank the firefighting staff from the park, Terlingua Fire & EMS, and the Texas Forest Service crews for their incredibly hard and heroic work."
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Demon Deacon

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2019, 07:47:22 PM »
Is there anyone left in the town across the Rio? Benito Juarez or Santa Elena I think? If so how did they fare, since this ostensibly jumped from over in that area?

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2019, 09:30:31 PM »
These folks are such heroes. I canít imagine the intensity of this kind of emergency.
Big Bend Chat[/url]

It's hard to imagine 109 in turnout gear even before you get near the fire.   And count me in on how much I liked this place.  It's turning out to be the Mr. Rogers of BIBE in terms of how much folks liked it, but took if for granted and never mentioned it till it was gone.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline iCe

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2019, 12:13:12 PM »
Damn  :icon_cry:  I've taken a few friends and some family to the store for ice cream. I go every time I'm there. Used to  :icon_cry:


Old news but here's some video...



https://www.dallasnews.com/news/fire-1/2019/05/23/historic-buildings-destroyed-damaged-fire-big-bend-national-park?fbclid=IwAR2df_jEQrNqwQ1GeB6nuRavplRWTG07uNMs67DIVlhaZ5JlT8nDsWIIbDU

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Offline dprather

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2019, 01:06:35 PM »
My favorite Costolon memory:

The first time my wife ever went with me to the Bend we did Luna's Jacal, Santa Elena Canyon, and the drive from Santa Elena to Costolon in the AM.  Arriving at Costolon store,  I went inside and bought us two sodas and two candy bars.

When my wife met me under the shade arbor, which is, in my opinion, a required BIBe destination, she took a look at my meager offerings and asked, "Where's the nearest restaurant?"

Continuing after my blank but amused stare she said, "No. Really. What are we doing for lunch?"

I calmly reminded her of what I had said again and again about limited amenities.

It was then and there that she finally got the vastness and "basicness" of the Bend.

I was genuinely pleased that she sat down with me and enjoyed "lunch." 
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Don H

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2019, 02:44:59 PM »
We were in the park this week - left this morning,  witnessed the start up of the fire from Study Butte and headed to Ross Maxwell to investigate got as far as Sotol Vista and were turned around by NPS LE Ranger.  Got some pics to post from there and right outside Castolon the next morning - currently traveling home.
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2019, 12:15:59 AM »
Thanks Don. Would like to see them. Safe travels.

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2019, 07:14:21 AM »
Earlier this year when my daughter and I were out there, it was a given that we would stop by the "store" and have lunch and an ice cream.  I remember asking on here and planning her trip and it was a given that it was one of the things you had to do.  I went back and read my trip report and I only had one line about it but I remember my daughter had so much more to say when we got home.


We made some sandwiches which we ate in the shade as we watched other visitors come and go. 




Then we went inside and looked around.  My daughter really enjoyed looking at a couple of calendars hanging inside the post office cage.  They were 80 years old or so and she was amazed they were still hanging there.  We grabbed some ice creams and enjoyed them on the bench before heading on towards Santa Elena.    I'm so glad she got to experience that.  Would be hard to explain it to her if we hadn't. 


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Offline Rondo

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Re: Fire near Castolon
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2019, 08:28:18 AM »
I'm traveling to Big Bend the weekend of June 1.
Will the Ross Maxwell road  to Santa Elena Canyon be open?

 


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