Firefighters control fire north of Yuma

Firefighters are holding the 400-acre Laguna Fire along the Colorado River about 15 miles north of Yuma, Ariz.

Firefighters made good progress Thursday on the Laguna Fire. The acreage burned is unchanged at approximately 400-600 acres. Currently the fire is estimated at 40% contained with full containment May 23, 2011. Mapping will be done later today or early Friday.

Most of the fire activity today occurred in islands of vegetation inside the fire perimeter. Fire fighters used two helicopters – Type 1 and Type 3 – to drop water on the fire taken from nearby Mittry Lake. A fire boat operating on the Colorado River pumped water directly on the flames.

Approximately 130 fire fighters are working the Laguna Fire including engines and crews from the Rural/Metro, Department of Corrections, Imperial County, and Yuma Proving Grounds Fire Departments ; and crews from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. Fifty fire fighters and two engines will work through the night tonight taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and higher humidities.

The Laguna Fire was reported May 18 and is burning in salt cedar, willow, cottonwood, and mesquite in the Colorado River riparian area. The fire started in California and hopped the river into Arizona. The fire appears to be human caused and is under investigation. Approximately 95% of the fire is in Arizona.

The fire grew quickly and burned one historic structure in the Betty’s Kitchen Recreation area on the California side. A BLM water truck was damaged as well.

All fire fighting agencies in southern Arizona want to remind people that Fire Restrictions are in effect and ask people to be careful outdoors. Conditions are ripe for rapid, large-scale burning … all it takes is a single spark.

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