Local strike team helps fight Bluecut Fire

June 19, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

CAJON PASS — The Imperial County Strike Team is expected to return tonight after responding to a brush fire north of San Bernardino.

The fire, named Bluecut Fire, has burned about 7,000 acres some 50 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino National Forest. About 15 percent of the fire has been contained.

No homes have been evacuated but the Imperial County strike team was called to provide protection to those homes and any structures in danger.


So far, four firefighters — none from the Imperial Valley — have been injured. Three of those suffered burns.

The county strike team is made up of five engines from Brawley, El Centro, Calexico, Calipatria and Imperial County headed by Calipatria Fire Chief Chris Hall.

El Centro Fire Chief Charles Beard said the aid call came before 4 p.m. Tuesday. The initial call asked the team to provide aid at a fire in Banning but was changed.

Beard said he wasn't sure how many firefighters from the Imperial Valley made up the strike team.

They arrived at the Cajon Pass fire around 10:30 p.m. Beard said the team was expected to return to the Valley around 5 p.m. today.

Beard said containment of the fire is expected by Friday evening.

The strike team was last called to a fire outside the county in August. That blaze was in Mariposa County, and some 21 firefighters from this area responded.

A second strike team made up of engines from Holtville, Naval Air Facility, El Centro, and Yuma along with crews from Calipatria and Centinela State prisons, was also called out to the Mariposa County fire. Other firefighters came from 51 different counties.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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