Cowboy Fire

A BUSY DAY AT THE RAMONA AIR ATTACK BASE

Story and photos by Dennis Richardson

September 4, 2010 (Ramona) -- Aerial firefighters continue battling the Cowboy Fire, which is currently 65% contained with full control predicted Monday night. If not for this Ramona air field,  brush-covered open spaces in our backcountry would be even greater threats to residents throughout San Diego County.

LOST IMMIGRANTS CAUSED COWBOY FIRE

 

Update September 4 2010, 12 p.m.  -- The Cowboy Fire is 827 acres and 65% contained. Full containment is expected tomorrow at 6 p.m. and full control is expected on September 7th at 6 p.m., Cal-Fire reports. View map of fire at bottom of this article.

East County News Service

 

September 3, 2010 (Campo) – The Cowboy Fire, which has burned 822 acres, was started by two illegal immigrants who were in distress, Cal-Fire reports.

 

“They called C4, which is Mexico’s emergency dispatch system, and advised them that they had been lost for two days, were stranded, dehydrated, and were going to light a signal fire to attempt to get some help,” said Roxanne Provaznik, public information officer for Cal-Fire.

FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE COWBOY FIRE THROUGH THE NIGHT

 

Update Sept. 3, 2010 12:10 p.m.:  The Cowboy Fire is now 42% contained, will full containment projected for Sunday. Smoke can be seen in the area, due to an island of unburned fuel that burned in the middle of the fire. There is no current threat to structures.

Currently there are 48 engines, 35 fire crews, 2 bulldozers, 4 helicopters, 2 helitankers, 4 airtankers, 8 water tenders, 69 overhead for a total of 1,360 firefighters committed to the incident. There have been two minor injuries to firefighters, Cal-Fire reports.

September 3, 2010 (5 a.m.) -- Firefighters have held the Cowboy Fire to 719 acres through the night.  The blaze is now 15% contained, said Cal-Fire battalion chief Nick Schuler.  He added, "The incident command expects the containment will increase even more when the sun rises."

PROGRESS MADE ON COWBOY FIRE, NOW OVER 700 ACRES

 

Update 8:35 p.m. -- The Cowboy Fire is now 719 acres and is 10% contained.  Progress is "excellent" according to Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler.

September 2, 2010 (Campo) 7 p.m. --The Cowboy Fire has reached 300 acres, however Cal-Fire public information officer Roxanne Provaznik reports, "Firefighters are beginning to make some progress."  The fire is currently back-burning onto itself and there is minimal threat to structures.

200-ACRE COWBOY FIRE REACHES STAR RANCH

 

September 2, 2010 (Campo) – A strike team of firefighters is staging at Star Ranch for structure protection, aiming to halt the 200-acre Cowboy fire at the outskirts of the Ranch before it can reach the Campo Hills housing development. The fire is burning in a northeast direction.

 

“A large water bomber just flew overhead,” Christy Scott, editor of the Alpine Sun, informed East County Magazine. Lake Morena provides an accessible source of water for water-dropping aircraft, she added.

COWBOY FIRE IN BACKCOUNTRY: 20 ACRES IN POTRERO-CAMPO AREA

 

Update 2:35 p.m. Campo Elementary School is being evacuated; students will be taken to Mountain Empire High School

September 2, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The Cowboy Fire reported at 1:13 p.m. is now 20 acres, burning between Campo and Potrero near the Pacific Crest Trail.  Incident Page Network indicates the fire is near the junction of Highway 94 and Star Ranch.  Other reports indicate the location is within Hauser National Wilderness and Cleveland National Forest areas.

 

“Currently the fire is inaccessible by ground units,” Cal-Fire battalion chief Nick Schuler said. “They are attempting to make contact with the fire now,” he said, adding that air tankers and helicopters are also on the scene.