County firefighters battle blaz near Bard

1,000 acres scorched

June 13, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BARD — Some 25 firefighters from agencies throughout the Imperial Valley responded to this community in the southeast section of the county Tuesday to battle a fire that scorched 1,000 acres.

The fire erupted about 8 a.m. in brush along the All-American Canal near Bard, northeast of Winterhaven.

The Winterhaven Fire Department was among the first to respond to the blaze.

That department was joined by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Yuma Fire Department and Yuma Rural Metro.

El Centro Fire Chief Charles Beard said firefighters from his department, Brawley, Holtville, Calexico and the county were called to the blaze about 4 p.m.

They remained on scene until 9 p.m. when they were released as fire crews gained control of the fire.

Beard said some crews remained on scene this morning, adding the fire was not expected to be extinguished until this afternoon.


He added it was a tough fire to control because of strong winds.

"It was moving," Beard said, adding the fire was blowing across roads.

Beard added a key concern in fighting the fire was homes were threatened.

"Flames got within 20 to 30 feet of houses," Beard said, adding firefighters sprayed the homes to keep the residences wet and battled the flames as they approached.

He said he was on scene as flames came within 20 feet of one house.

"If we hadn't gotten there we would have lost the house," Beard said. "That's how desperate it was."

He added, "We're lucky we didn't lose any homes."

He said about 40 people were evacuated from the scene.

Information on the cause of the fire was unavailable this morning, Beard said.

There were no injuries reported.

Beard said BLM would be in charge of investigating the blaze.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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