Mexico's 1,500-Acre Tecate Fire Remains a 'Threat' to US: Officials - NBC Southern California

Mexico's 1,500-Acre Tecate Fire Remains a 'Threat' to US: Officials

As of Friday morning, the fire burning in Tecate, Mexico, south of the U.S.-Mexico border had scorched 1,500 acres

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Plane Drops Fire Retardant Along U.S.-Mexico Border

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019)

    A 1,500-acre wildfire burning since Wednesday south of the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate, Mexico, remains a "threat" to U.S. land, officials said Friday.

    Cal Fire San Diego said the fire, as of 9:30 a.m. Friday, was still burning entirely on the Mexico side of the border but continued to pose "a threat to the U.S." As of around 8 p.m. it was 60 percent contained.

    Cal Fire San Diego crews have been helping Mexican agencies fight the "Border8Fire" since it sparked around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 2 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Within an hour, the blaze had moved north and was about an eighth-mile away from the U.S.

    On Wednesday, the Tijuana Fire Department said the fire was burning near a van factory along a thoroughfare connecting Tijuana and Tecate south of unincorporated San Diego County's Dulzura area. At that point, it had burned about 250 acres.

    Cal Fire had crews prepped and ready on the U.S. side of the border that night in case the fire moved any further north.

    Within 24 hours, the fire ballooned to more than 1,100 acres.

    While the fire had not crossed into the U.S., Cal Fire sent the firefighting airtanker C-130 and other resources to assist Tijuana crews.

    SkyRanger 7 caught the C-130 making a retardant drop along the border line. The drop was in U.S. territory away from the flames and was meant to pre-treat potential fuels in the fire's path, Cal Fire said.

    Cal Fire is currently borrowing the C-130, which can carry up to 4,000 gallons of flame retardant, from Coulson Aviation. The aircraft is temporarily stationed in Ramona and being used to train Cal Fire pilots until the agency gets its own. By comparison, Cal Fire's S-2 Tanker can only hold 1,200 gallons.

    On Friday morning, as the Border8Fire grew to 1,500 acres, Cal Fire tweeted that a strike team of engines and support personnel was en route to help fire crews in Tecate. That team returned Friday evening and Cal Fire said they would decide Saturday if resources would be sent back.

    Tecate Fire officials said more than 120 firefighters from different agencies, including 19 with Cal Fire, were tackling the blaze. 

    By Saturday monring all Cal Fire resources have been released. 

    Photo credit: Tecate Fire Department