|Monday, Apr 12, 2010|
Participants in La Programa Los Diablos completed their annual wildland firefighter safety refresher and training on March 25th at Big Bend National Park, renewing their twenty year commitment to serve as needed for the benefit of this unique yet remote resource and the United States wildland fire community.
Under an agreement between the National Park Service and the Department of Homeland Security, the 33 Diablos are able to respond at a moment’s notice from their riverside villages in Mexico directly adjacent to the park. Since 2001, the Diablos have aided fire management efforts as far away as Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
In coming years, the Diablos will be called upon more than ever to aid the recovery of the park’s two large, fire-dependent ecosystems. The first of these major projects will use prescribed fire along most of the 245-mile, 20,000-acre Rio Grande corridor, which includes Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, and Amistad National Recreation Area, which is threatened by invasive plant species. The other project calls for the use of wildfire managed for resource benefit and prescribed fire to restore the 100,000-acre Chisos Mountains within Big Bend National Park, an irreplaceable “sky island” forest remnant from the last Ice Age, which is threatened by critical overgrowth and a rising potential for catastrophic, stand-replacing fire.