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Crews respond to fire in Big Bend Ranch State Park Monday afternoon

Amid heavy winds, officials from several agencies worked to respond to the blaze near the Tapado Canyon area of the state park.

By Annie Rosenthal

Firefighters in Presidio County responded to a fire in Big Bend Ranch State Park Monday afternoon as heavy winds spread across the region. As of 5 p.m., the fire was burning in the Tapado Canyon area, near the park’s popular Hoodoos trail.

Big Bend Ranch State Park Superintendent Nate Gold told Marfa Public Radio that the fire seemed to have originated in Mexico, crossed the river near Tapado Canyon, and was heading west early Monday evening. “At this point, no campers, park assets, or facilities are being threatened,” he said. 

The Texas Department of Transportation, the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office, the Presidio Volunteer Fire Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife were “assisting and monitoring” the fire, according to Gold. 

Presidio resident Malynda Richardson was driving along Highway 170 from Terlingua to Presidio at around 3 p.m. Monday when she saw the smoke and pulled into the parking lot by the Hoodoos trail. Richardson said officials with TxDOT seemed to be holding traffic along the highway and directing cars through the area closest to the blaze. She said the fire did not appear to have crossed the road.

According to Presidio Mayor John Ferguson, Presidio firefighters on the scene requested backup from Ojinaga’s fire crews. Ferguson said the Mexican firefighters received permission to cross the border and headed through Presidio toward the fire around 4:30 p.m.

This is a developing story. Marfa Public Radio will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Marfa Public Radio's Travis Bubenik contributed reporting.

A view of the fire from the parking lot near the Hoodoos trail in Big Bend Ranch State Park around 3 p.m. on Monday. (Video courtesy of Malynda Richardson)

Annie Rosenthal was Marfa Public Radio's Border Reporter, a role she held in partnership with Report for America. She worked at the station from 2021 to 2023.