Eagle Fire is 45% contained; not a threat to wild sheep - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Eagle Fire is 45% contained; not a threat to wild sheep

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    The Eagle Fire has burned through more than 12,500 acres since it broke out near Warner Springs last week. There's concern about an endangered herd of bighorn sheep that live in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 
    The Eagle Fire has burned through more than 12,500 acres since it broke out near Warner Springs last Thursday. Now there's concern about an endangered herd of bighorn sheep that live in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 

LOS COYOTES INDIAN RESERVATION (CNS/CBS 8) - Firefighters worked for a fifth straight day Tuesday to gain control over a brush fire that has scorched some 13,500 acres in the North County.

The Eagle Fire was holding at 45 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

Six firefighters have suffered minor injuries and one outbuilding has been destroyed since the fire broke out late Thursday roughly five miles east of Warner Springs, the state agency reported. The estimated cost of fighting the blaze has risen to $6.5 million.

There has been concern about an endangered herd of big horn sheep that live in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, although officials say they are in no danger.

"We have no reports of big horn sheep being in danger. We've had numerous observations by rangers and firefighters Tuesday in spite of all the helicopters going over head and the air drops, the big horn are still sneaking into drink water in Coyote Canyon," said one fire official.

329 big horn sheep have been counted in the East County.

Animal experts say the sheep prefer bare rocky environments so the fire burning away the vegetation is good for the animals.

As of this morning, about 2,100 personnel were working on the fire, according to Cal Fire.

Agencies assisting Cal Fire with staff, equipment and other resources included the San Diego County Fire Authority, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, county Sheriff's Department, and the state's Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Corrections and Conservation Corps.

Firefighters have been carrying out air and ground attack against the fire. Six air tankers, 22 helicopters, 71 fire engines, 30 water trucks and 17 bulldozers have been deployed.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

THIS IS AN UPDATE TO THE PREVIOUS STORY BELOW.

LOS COYOTES INDIAN RESERVATION (CNS) - About 1,800 firefighters were battling a 12,500-acre brush fire Monday in northeastern San Diego County, authorities said.

The Eagle Fire, which was burning on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, broke out about five miles east of Warner Springs Thursday night and was 45 percent contained this morning, Cal Fire reported.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries and one outbuilding has burned since the fire broke out, and an estimated $4.7 million has been spent battling it so far, the state agency reported.

California National Guard helicopters joined the fight Sunday, helping to shuttle firefighters to remote areas as flames moved northwest toward Borrego Springs.

Agencies assisting Cal Fire with staff, equipment and other resources included the San Diego County Fire Authority, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Conservation Corps, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Borrego Palm Canyon Campground and Trail have been closed, along with the Los Valley Boy Scout Camp.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

EAGLE FIRE UPDATE: Sunday, July 24, 2011.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - California National Guard helicopters joined the fight Sunday to contain the three-day Eagle Fire, burning in a remote area of northeastern San Diego County, a Cal-Fire spokeswoman said.

The blaze has consumed 10,800 acres of brush since it started Thursday and is 35 percent contained, said Cal-Fire spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson. The fire is burning behind Warner Springs toward the Anza-Borrego State Park, she said.

"It is still actively growing," Hutchinson said, but in a slow way, without extremes in heat and wind.

"We'd like it to stay like it is, and get containment lines around it," she added.

No structures have been threatened, Hutchinson said.

"The helicopters will ferry hand crews into the remote areas to dig fire lines to contain the flames", she said.

Fifty-four hand crews working on the fire, totaling 1,120 firefighters, Hutchinson said. In addition, air tankers and helicopters would continue chemical and water drops. Fire crews have made good progress constructing the fire's containment line, Hutchison said.

The fire was burning in older, heavy brush with no documented fire history, so its smoke has been thick and affecting the air quality in parts of Riverside County, Hutchinson said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, she said.

EAGLE FIRE UPDATE: Saturday, July 23, 2011.

WARNER SPRINGS (CNS) - A brush fire that scorched some 4,000 acres on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation was about 30 percent contained Saturday, according to Cal Fire.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday off Eagles Nest Road and Camino San Ignacio, about five miles east of Warner Springs, according to Cal Fire Capt. Mike Smith.

Flames spread through the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, which briefly threatened cabins and archaeological sites, Smith said.

More than 800 firefighters fought to control the blaze with the aid of seven engines, nine helicopters, four bulldozers and seven air tankers.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Smith said.

Los Coyotes, the largest Native American reservation in the county, covers almost 25,000 mountainous acres about 80 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

EAGLE FIRE UPDATE: Friday, July 22, 2011.

LOS COYOTES INDIAN RESERVATION (CNS/CBS 8) - A brush fire blackened hundreds of open acres in the remote northeastern reaches of San Diego County Friday, threatening several Native American archeological sites and a few unoccupied cabins while moving toward desert terrain.

The non-injury blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 10:30 p.m. Thursday off Eagles Nest Road and Camino San Ignacio, roughly five miles east of Warner Springs, according to Cal Fire.

The flames spread through Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, away from populated areas and into steep, difficult-to-access terrain, said Mike Mohler, a fire captain with the state agency.

As of 1:30 p.m., the blaze, dubbed the Eagle Fire, had scorched roughly 2,500 acres and was 5 percent contained.

"It's moving away from any type of civilization, burning down into Anza-Borrego Desert," Mohler said.

For a time, the blaze threatened at least two vacant back-country residences, but it was not immediately clear if it damaged them, according to Mohler.

As of late Friday afternoon, nearly 600 firefighters were battling the flames, equipped with 15 engines, nine water trucks, seven air tankers and nine helicopters. By then, the estimated cost of suppressing the fire had reached roughly $250,000.

Los Coyotes, the largest Native American reservation in the county, covers nearly 25,000 mountainous acres about 80 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

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