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Big Bend in the News => National Park News => Topic started by: Jim on May 01, 2018, 03:03:24 PM

Title: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: Jim on May 01, 2018, 03:03:24 PM
FYI...

Quote
For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018

Closures Due to Fire Danger in Big Bend National Park

Due to extreme fire danger, Big Bend National Park has closed 11 backpacking sites in the Chisos Mountains. Starting on May 1, the Juniper Flats, Boulder Meadows, and Pinnacles campsites will be closed until further notice. The trail remains open to hiking.

These preemptive closures are provided for within the park’s existing Fire Management Plan and Chisos Basin Evacuation Plan. This time of year typically has very high fire danger, but is even more acute due to the exceptionally high fuel loads, drying winds, low relative humidity, and severe drought conditions which have led to historically high hazard conditions in recent weeks. To date this year, the Chisos Mountains have received 0.26 inches of rain, leaving the dense fuels in this area extremely dry. Based on these fire indices, the probability of ignition for this area is 100%, if exposed to a spark or any other heat source.

The intention of this closure is to limit the hazard exposure to visitors and responders from a fire that starts in the Chisos Basin developed area, with potential to run rapidly upslope, engulfing the Pinnacles Trail and affected campsites. A lack of an alternate evacuation route from this area means these campsites face a particularly high risk in the event of a fire started in the heavily populated areas below.

The park wants to remind visitors that we have a park-wide charcoal ban, and that wood fires are not allowed in the park. Also, in addition to the permanent smoking ban on Chisos trails, a smoking ban has also been enacted for the Chisos Campground area. Smoking is allowed in designated areas around the Chisos Mountain Lodge. The park urges visitors to be extremely careful with any heat source, as any wildland fire in these conditions would spread extremely rapidly.
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: mule ears on May 01, 2018, 03:32:23 PM
Well it is very dry out there right now and this really shouldn't hamper folks who want to go up and camp in Boot Canyon or the South Rim.  Best start raining soon or some of those could be closed too.
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: elhombre on May 01, 2018, 03:52:23 PM
Thanks for the post Jim.

Mmmm.........   It's really dry in the desert???

How about a ban on open flame stoves instead of shutting the place down?

So we have falcons nesting in the cliffs.  Bears eating Juniper nuts on the trail.  And now dry conditions in the desert. 

I guess no word on how much rain must fall that will be considered enough to lift the camping ban.
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: iCe on May 01, 2018, 07:45:07 PM
I think you have to factor in the "new" clientele that have been filling the park up lately for the ban to make a little sense. If one of those ID-10-T's lights off a fire in a canyon because they saw someone do it on TV and it looked cool and it could get pretty bad pretty quick...
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: marufo on May 01, 2018, 09:26:08 PM
Currently a 12,000 acre fire 15% contained outside of Fort Davis and another contained south of Alpine. Folks, it's a tinderbox out here. I think a little caution is warranted.
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: iCe on May 01, 2018, 09:30:28 PM
Currently a 12,000 acre fire 15% contained outside of Fort Davis and another contained south of Alpine. Folks, it's a tinderbox out here. I think a little caution is warranted.


Beat me to it by 30s. HAS (Houston Astronomical Society) is buzzing about the fire because of the big telescope fest (the name escapes me at the moment) is either about to start or has started.


The big fire is called the McDannel fire and the small new fire is southeast of Alpine. It's called the Mile High fire, 63 acres, 0% contained.
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: alan in shreveport on May 02, 2018, 06:44:34 AM
I think you have to factor in the "new" clientele that have been filling the park up lately for the ban to make a little sense. If one of those ID-10-T's lights off a fire in a canyon because they saw someone do it on TV and it looked cool and it could get pretty bad pretty quick...

I fear there will be lots of other repercussions due to the new clientele. The lines of cars, Cattail Road closure, these closures,....
Title: Re: Chisos Backcountry Closures
Post by: Txlj on May 02, 2018, 09:11:06 PM
Fires Still Burning Across West Texas - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |
http://www.newswest9.com/story/10239871/fires-still-burning-across-west-texas

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