22 Aug 2014
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National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire

Help is needed to get firefighters into remote areas between Warner Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire National Guard Helicopters Called for 9,000-Acre Eagle Fire

National Guard helicopters have been called in to help with the massive in northeastern San Diego county.

The brush fire is now at 9,000 acres and 30 percent contained. The additional helicopters will shuttle fire crews into remote areas, according to CalFire spokeswoman Roxanne Provaznik on Saturday.

Flames erupted on Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near Warner Springs on Thursday night and moved eastward through rugged, dry hill country toward Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Since then, the fire has roughly doubled in size each day, bringing in firefighters and equipment from all over California.

CalFire continues to investigate the cause of the blaze, which consumed a guard shack on leased land on the Native American reservation. The land is leased to a private company, . The company was formerly called Eagle Rock Training Center.

Resources on the fire include: 7 engines, 52 fire crews, 8 bulldozers, 25 water tenders, 128 overhead units—including 15 helicopters, and 8 airtankers for daytime operations—for a total of 1,051 firefighters assigned to the incident.  

There have been two reports of injured firefighters.

No structures are currently threatened.

The blaze is burning north through older, heavy brush with no documented fire history, as well as east through light grass and scattered brush. 

Firefighters have 20 miles of containment line to build. The estimated cost of the response effort is $2.5 million so far.

Cooperating agencies have included: San Diego County Fire Authority, San Diego County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, State Parks, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties, California Conservation Corps, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Air National Guard.

Smoke from the fire appeared as a white cumulus cloud above the hills overlooking Borrego Springs on Saturday. As the late afternoon turned into evening, the sky became a dark pink-and-gray backdrop to palm trees in the town. Helicopters flew in like huge insects, sucking up water from a small lake at a golf course and flying off to drop it in the canyons above.

Except for the sound of the helicopters and roosting birds, the town was eerily quiet.

Anza-Borrego is California's biggest state park, with 500 miles of unpaved roads and 12 wilderness areas. It is named after the Bighorn Sheep which lives in the area.

The Borrego Palm Trail and the Borrego Palm Campground within the state park have been closed.

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