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Castolon Fire at Big Bend National Park contained, fire crews save buildings and artifacts

While some historic buildings were damaged destroyed by the Castolon Fire, park officials say that several more were saved by the hard work of fire crews. (NPS Photo/J. Jurado)
While some historic buildings were damaged destroyed by the Castolon Fire, park officials say that several more were saved by the hard work of fire crews. (NPS Photo/J. Jurado)(KOSA)
Published: Jun. 4, 2019 at 2:11 PM CDT
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A fire that destroyed some buildings in the Castolon Historic District of Big Bend National Park has now been contained.

According to park officials, the fire was 100% contained at 944 acres on June 1. Some hot spots remain but are expected to be out by next week.

On May 22 a wildfire from Mexico crossed the border and spread into the park where it finally moved into the Castolon Historic District.

Park officials say that winds blew embers into the area and several historic buildings caught on fire. While fire crews were able to save several buildings the historic latrine and barracks, which housed the La Harmonica Store and Castolon Visitor Center were lost.

As the wildfire grew park officials, with the help of the Los Diablos crew and Texas A&M Forestry Service crews were able to save the Cottonwood Campground, an employee housing area, the Old Castolon buildings, La Coyota ruins, wells, pumps, power lines and other important resources.

“Although damaged, Castolon remains a rich remnant of Big Bend’s pioneer and military past, and represents the mixing of cultures along the border.” said acting Superintendent Tom VandenBerg i a release. “In spite of losing so much, we are forever grateful for all the facilities that were spared.”

Following the fire park staff and G4 Heritage Consulting were able to shift through debris and save historic items.

The Castolon Historic area will remain closed at this time.

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