Border Fire threatens to burn from Mexico into U.S.

Border Fire Mexico United States California
Photo from Otay Mountain showing the Border Fire at 5:44 p.m. PDT August 14, 2019, and the approximate location of the international border (white line).

A large wildfire in Mexico west of Tecate is very close to the U.S. border and threatens to burn into California about 23 miles southeast of San Diego. It is spreading to the east, generally toward the city of Tecate which has a population of 102,000 in its metropolitan area.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CAL FIRE, is monitoring the situation and has already started moving firefighting resources into the area, including aircraft.

Video from Channel 8 in San Diego showed air tankers, an S2 and a C-130 (T-134), making drops north of the border.

CAL FIRE may decide to activate the unstaffed air tanker base at Brown Field Municipal Airport which is 1.6 miles north of the border and about 16 miles west of this new fire. It is 31 miles south of the Ramona air tanker base and has a 7,972-foot runway which according to information from the USFS “provides ample length to meet safe takeoff requirements for the size and weight of a Next Generation Air Tanker with a full payload”. The runway at Ramona is too short to handle many of the large air tankers.

The fire can be seen via cameras here and here.

Border Fire Mexico United States California
A 3-D map view of the area, looking east from Otay Mountain. The yellow line is the international Border. The area is similar to that seen in the photo from Otay Mountain, at the top of the article.
Border Fire Mexico United States California
Satellite photo showing smoke from the Border Fire at 5:44 p.m. PDT August 14, 2019.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Border Fire threatens to burn from Mexico into U.S.”

  1. When I was working in fire, origin denotes ownership. So if the fire burns in to the US, the US should bill Mexico for the suppression effort.


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