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 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.

Kori Peterson July 24, 2011 at 05:11 AM
excellent article. The best coverage of the fire I have seen. I live in Borrego and am seeing the fire crest the mountains on the north/northwest side of town.
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 05:12 AM
I'm in Borrego overnight so I can keep an eye on this tomorrow. Thank you for your comment.
Meribeth Huegel July 24, 2011 at 06:29 AM
Excellent articles and photos - WOW! Be safe everyone!
jealyn July 24, 2011 at 09:34 AM
I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by Fedex. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://BuzzSave.com
Corey Ramsdell July 24, 2011 at 09:47 AM
im offering my large animail fire rescue bussniess for anyone who has large aniamls and arent able to take them with them please call me 24/7 760-468-9977 i will do everything that needs to be done you dont have to be there if your told to leave please listen and go a head and leave and we wil take care of the rest just one thing that i ask is if there is a lock on the pen or gate please unlock it before you leave if you have time if not we will cut it off with cuttters... this is a free service and will always be free however you are more than welcome to make donations and if you want to make them you may once i have picked up your horse or have brought it back. once we pick them up we will take them to an area that has ben set asside to accept horses how ever i dont always know were that is right away but once i find out i will call you by the end of the day and let you know were your family members can find your horse and wen it got there we will put the address of each horse on its back once we pick them up if you have any questions please feel free to call me any time my name is corey and my partners name is nick and we will be more than happy to help anyone and everyone we can and we wont stop until we know we have everyones horse out of danger and in a safe place i hope to be hearing from anyone anytime during this fire please call me
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Thank you. Are you affiliated with any organization? At this time, I don't know of any areas evacuating large animals. The fire is burning through remote hills overlooking Borrego Springs, where there's little if any population, but it's good to have your information.
Kelle McArthur Cooter July 24, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Thanks for the report, not getting anything on the local news. We are in Borrego and have been watching the fire creep down the mountain.
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Where are you exactly? I'm interested to see where it's coming down the mountain. CalFire is hoping it burns itself out as it heads east. I'm in Borrego today.
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 02:37 PM
Better news: fire is at 10,800 acres, so the rate of growth considerably diminished overnight compared with other evenings. Containment is at 35%, which is up 5% from Saturday. CalFire says crews have made good progress.
Lisa Gonzales July 24, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Thank you for the info, my husband is one of the foreman on an LACo Fire Camp crew. Do you know what firefighters were injured?
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 07:47 PM
I'll try to find out but there are privacy laws so they may not tell a reporter. I'll do my best.
Lisa Gonzales July 24, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Maybe just find out the agency instead of names... I was just looking at your pictures of the camp crew trucks from LA Co and I was trying to see what the number was on the truck that the foreman in the yellow pants is leaning on. It sort of looks like my husband. Which is super cool to see. I know he will be safe, two of our kids were killed 3 1/2 years ago in a tragic accident, so he has special angels with him keeping him safe. Thank you for all your updates, I just stumbled onto this site and I am glad I did. You are doing a great job!!
Julie Pendray July 24, 2011 at 08:51 PM
CalFire tells me they will not give out information. They say you would either get a call from your husband or a liaison would call you if it were serious. They report that there have been no serious injuries.
Lisa Gonzales July 24, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Thank you!!


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