Firefighters still battling Eagle fire as temperatures rise

City News Service

Warmer temperatures and lower humidity challenged fire crews Wednesday as they worked for the sixth straight day to gain control of a brush fire that has scorched some 14,100 acres in the rugged, remote northeastern reaches of San Diego County.

The Eagle Fire was 55 percent contained as of this morning, according to Cal Fire, which says it continues to expand to the east and northwest, although its spread to the east has slowed considerably. Full containment was expected Saturday.

Twelve firefighters have been injured and one outbuilding has been destroyed since the fire broke out Thursday night roughly five miles east of Warner Springs, officials said. The estimated cost of suppressing the blaze has risen to $6.5 million.

The blaze prompted the closure of Borrego Palm Canyon Campground and Trail, as well as Lost Valley Boy Scout Camp.

More than 2,100 local, state and federal personnel were working to subdue the stubborn fire as it continued pushing through mountainous terrain covered with grass, brush, and oak and pine trees.

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 state Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Corrections and Conservation Corps.

The effort is also relying on seven air tankers, 20 helicopters, 76 fire engines, 30 water trucks and 18 bulldozers.

California National Guard helicopters joined the effort over the weekend, helping to shuttle personnel to remote areas as flames moved through Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The cause of the blaze, which originated off Eagles Nest Road near Camino San Ignacio, remains under investigation, according to Cal Fire.