California wildfire spreads through remote desert

AP News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2011 2:13 PM
California wildfire spreads through remote desert

A 20-square-mile California wildfire spread across 100 more acres of remote desert, and changing winds Tuesday could send smoke into the community of Borrego Springs and intensify the six-day-old blaze in areas where firefighters have contained the flames, officials said.

The blaze was not expected to threaten any structures or populated areas.

Firefighters have surrounded 45 percent of the 12,800-acre fire that started Thursday on the Los Coyotes Indian reservation in northeast San Diego County.

But they face highs in the mid-80s, low humidity and westward blowing winds Tuesday that could push the flames down the hill toward Borrego Springs, making it more visible but not a threat to the community, said Mike Smith, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire has been crackling through grass, brush, oak and pine trees in steep, rugged terrain on the reservation and the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Some of the area has no known history of fires. Smith said no known endangered species were being threatened.

Six firefighters have reported minor injuries, mostly heat exhaustion.

Six air tankers were streaking over areas just ahead of fire lines in an effort to thwart the advance of flames while 17 helicopters bombarded hot spots with water drops. More than 2,100 firefighters were fighting the blaze.

The Borrego Palm Canyon Campground and Trail and the Los Valley Boy Scout Camp have been closed. Officials have not determined the cause of the fire.