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Fire near East Wetlands quickly contained and put out
A wildfire along the Colorado River near the East Wetlands was quickly extinguished by area firefighters Friday evening. There were no reports of injuries or structures damaged.
The fire ignited near the Quechan Casino on the north bank of the river at about 6 p.m.
Even though the fire was in Arizona, the Winterhaven Fire Department initially responded because of their close proximity to the blaze.
WFD firefighters were escorted to the scene by Cocopah Tribal Police.
“We made our initial attack on the head of the fire and Rural/Metro showed up and joined in with us,” said WFD Chief Steve Taylor.
“They attacked the east end of the fire and we attacked the west end of the fire.”
The Yuma Fire Department also responded when Taylor requested mutual aid. In addition to manpower, YFD brought a water tinder, which held about 4,000 gallons of water, and an engine with 1,000 gallons of water.
“I got help from them and we were able to knock the fire down and stopped it from spreading,” Taylor said.
Taylor said it was important to knock out the fire quickly before it had a chance to ignite more brush along the river.
“We didn't want it to take off. The winds were just starting to pick up and we didn't want it to end up like the Laguna Fire, so we hit it the best we could.”
By 8 p.m. the fire was mostly or completely contained, Taylor said.
“If they don't get any strong winds they should be good. We've got all the hot spots knocked down.”
The Bureau of Land Management has assumed responsibility over the fire, and will remain on site throughout the night to monitor and extinguish any remaining hot spots.
“They are doing mop up,” Taylor said. “Some of the salt cedar and the bushes had some big trunks and they are going to go in there and put water on them to wet them down. The city of Yuma is still supplying them with water since.”
Information about the cause of the incident and the amount of acreage burned in the blaze was unavailable as of press time Friday.