Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge closed after fire rips through 320 acres

Officials say the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge is expected to reopen next week after a fire ripped through 385 acres of land on Wednesday.

Update: Scott Asseldt, assistant fire manager officer with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, said Friday that 100 percent of the fire has been contained. The refuge will remain closed Saturday as fire officials will monitor hot spots due to hot weather. The refuge may reopen Sunday, depending on the weather, Asseldt said.

Original Story: Officials have closed the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge as fire crews continue to evaluate dry conditions following a blaze that ripped through 320 acres Wednesday afternoon, according to SANWR Senior Refuge Manager Robert Jess.

The blaze lasted about seven hours and was finally contained at about midnight after fire crews created a containment line and a parameter was established.

Officials say they are not sure what caused the blaze, but know it originated in Mexico as a river cane fire near the southside of the Rio Grande, then jumped over to the U.S.

Three fire crews remain at the scene and are currently backburning against the wind, Roberts said.

The Alamo Fire Department, Pharr Fire Department, San Juan Fire Department and Donna Fire Department assisted during the blaze.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Robert Jess.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off