Big Bend Ranch State Park

NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou / National Park Service

A wildfire that began Monday afternoon, caused by a downed power line and strong winds, continues to burn in Big Bend National Park near Panther Junction.

About 50 fighters were on the scene Thursday.

“A combination of park firefighters, Los Diablos firefighters, and some engines from our local Texas fire and EMS in Terlingua worked on the blaze,” said park spokesman David Elkowitz. “They have contained it to the South side of the road going to Rio Grande Village and it’s approximately 1537 acres.” The Los Diablos firefighters are from across the border. 

It looked like the opening of the television show "M*A*S*H" —a helicopter flying over a mountainscape carrying a passenger in need of care.

Personnel run out to meet the chopper, grab the patient and get to work. 

But this is in West Texas at the Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and the patients are desert bighorn sheep.  

“This is why I got into this business in the first place. It's landscape-level conservation is what it is,” said Mike Hill, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Fort Davis Regional Director.