U.S. firefighters and helicopters fight wildfire in Mexico

The Coronado National Forest has provided 40 firefighters, 2 helicopters, and one air attack plane to help Mexico firefighters suppress two fires that are about 3 miles south of the U.S. border west of Nogales, Arizona, in accordance with the International Agreement the U. S. Forest Service has with Mexico. The firefighters are attempting to two fires together, the Bull fire into the Pena fire, which have burned approximately 2,000 acres each.

Bull and Pena fires in Mexico
Map showing heat detected (in red and orange) by satellites from fires in Mexico, southwest of Nogales, AZ, April 29, 2011; time unknown. The black line is the U.S./Mexico border.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact time and date of the data represented in the image above. The new “improved” user interface for MODIS Active Fire Maps no longer includes that information. Our guess is that it was acquired sometime after midnight early Friday morning. A couple of days ago we reported to the U.S. Forest Service that this information and the names of cities had disappeared from their maps. Since then the names of cities have been restored, but not the exact times of the data acquisition.

UPDATE at 2:44 MT, April 29

The Southwest Coordination Center sent this out via Twitter 4 minutes ago:

Update: Bull (AZ-CNF). Mexico fire which crossed border. Approx 3,750 ac (300+ on U.S.). Fire is active today. Air tanker, lead ordered.

Here is an updated map, which appears to confirm that the fire is near the border, or has perhaps crossed it into Arizona. The data is from April 29, but as explained above, the time is unknown.

Bull and Pena fires in Mexico and the U.S. 4-29-2011. Time unknown.
Bull and Pena fires in Mexico and the U.S. 4-29-2011. Time unknown.

UPDATE from SWCC via Twitter at 3:17 MT, April 29

Update: Bull (AZ-CNF). Type 2 IM Team ordered. Eastern Arizona IMT (Philbin, IC) to fill. DTN 4/29, 1800.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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