October 5, 2014 (Alpine)--The Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A) has moved two of its firefighting helicopters from northern California to the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego County to position them for quick response as the wildfire threat increases across Southern California.
The continued drought conditions, extreme heat and Santa Ana winds forecast over the weekend have made San Diego County, and Southern California, ripe for wildfires and have prompted multiple agencies to be on high alert.
The helicopters, which can drop water buckets and firefighting crews, will remain at the Viejas Reservation until October 10 with a possible extension up to 15 days, depending on weather and other conditions.
The BIA-funded helicopter will be staffed daily for 10 hours by tribal firefighters from various reservations through the nation. If a wildfire starts anywhere in Southern California, they will be dropped into the area to help battle it on the ground.