A 30-person hand crew of Mexican nationals assisted with the suppression of a wildfire in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in western Texas on the New Mexico border (map). The fire started from lightning on May 26 and burned 171 acres before it was contained. Here is an excerpt from an update from New Mexico Fire Information (are you totally confused by all the geographical references so far?):
The Pecos Zone Type III Incident Management Team will transfer management of the El Capitan Fire back to Guadalupe Mountains National Park at Noon today (LaPaz IC). The Pecos Zone Type III Incident Management Team (Northcott IC) took over management of the El Capitan Fire as of 6:00 AM on 5/28/2012.
Summary: The Park remains under Red Flag conditions, with hot, dry weather and high winds. Los Diablos Type 2 Initial Attack Crew, the Truman Engine (Mescalero, NM) and Chihuahua Engine (Ruidoso, NM) will remain at the park, along with the fire crews from Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and will continue to monitor the fire for any hot spots and will also be available for initial attack should there be any new fires. They will also continue trimming and removing vegetation to create defensible space around structures to help protect them from any future fires. The fire burned in steep rugged, terrain and crews hiked to the fire. The fire was on the west side of El Capitan Peak, approximately 1 mile east of historic Williams Ranch. The fire is 100% contained with only a few hot spots remaining.
Los Diablos is a crew of more than 30 Mexican national firefighters, from Boquillas and other villages across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park, along with National Park Service firefighting personnel. A cooperative effort between the National Park Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol and Mexico, Los Diablos has provide emergency fire services at Big Bend National Park and throughout the United States since 1990. Their name, Los Diablos, which is Spanish for “the Devils,” comes from their promise to work like devils when they are called upon.
The above photo of the El Capitan fire reminded me of some photos I took at the Scotts Spring prescribed fire in 2002 in Scotts Bluff National Monument.