Rains reduce fire activity and park opens trails for visitor use
Total Personnel: 30
Incident Commander: Jay Yancick (Type 4IC)
Start Date: May 7, 2016
Location: 46 miles SW of Carlsbad, NM
Fuels/Topography: Grass/brush/chaparral, rugged terrain
Salt Flat, Texas – Rains, low winds and high humidity assisted with reduced fire activity at Guadalupe Mountains National Park yesterday. The Coyote Fire is at 70% containment and the Park will OPEN Guadalupe Peak Trail, El Capitan Trail, Frijole Ranch, Frijole Trail, Foothill Trail, Smith Spring Trail, and the Pine Springs Campgrounds today for public use.
“The fire crews working the Coyote Fire have done an outstanding job containing this fire, maintaining a high level of safety and protecting our park resources,” said Superintendent Eric Brunnemann. “We are pleased to be able to open the front country trails for public use today and look forward to visitors returning this weekend to hike and enjoy the Guadalupe Mountains again.”
Fire crews continue to monitor fire activity and work to reopen the backcountry. A Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team continues to evaluate and mitigate hazardous trees, vegetation, and rock falls in campsites and along trail corridors in preparation for reopening trails, campgrounds, and areas of the backcountry impacted by the Coyote Fire. Tejas, Marcus, and Bush Mountain trails, as well as slopes along Blue Ridge received low intensity fire activity which will aid long term ecological benefits to the landscape. The remnants of an old hunting cabin known as the Cox Cabin were the only lost values in this area of the park.
The public is reminded that there are still inherent dangers regarding the Coyote Fire, and to be alert to changing area restrictions. It is also important to watch for fire vehicles and practice caution while passing. The potential for fire spread remains minimal, small pockets of fuels and green islands in the fire interior are expected to continue to burn and occasional smoke may to be visible from the backcountry.
Openings: Guadalupe Peak Trail, El Capitan Trail, Frijole Ranch, Frijole Trail, Foothill Trail, Smith Spring Trail and the Pine Springs Campgrounds are now OPEN to the public.
Closures: Dog Canyon, Devil’s Hall Trail, McKittrick Canyon, remain CLOSED. All backcountry areas of the Park will remain CLOSED until further notice. The Pine Springs Visitor Center remains open with regular hours from8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Park areas remaining open are Salt Basin Dunes on the west end of the park, near Dell City, Texas.