Lost Migrant Starts Fire in California, 13 More Rescued from Heatwave
San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 14 migrants over the Labor Day weekend. The rescues led to eight of the 14 being transported to hospitals due to heat-related illnesses. One admitted to starting a fire after becoming lost.
Agents patrolling the border region near Dulzura, California, observed a fire on September 4 and contacted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The agents went with CAL FIRE to the scene of the fire where they found a Mexican man who admitted to starting the fire after illegally crossing the border and becoming lost, according to information obtained from San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials.
CAL FIRE called for a helicopter to airlift the man to an area hospital where doctors treated the Mexican national for heat-related injuries, officials stated. Doctors treated and released the man to the custody of the Border Patrol.
CAL FIRE firefighters managed to contain the fire set by the illegal immigrant.
Two days later, Border Patrol agents received a call from a man reporting to be in distress near Dulzura. The agents initiated a search and rescue mission and eventually found two men deep in a ravine. Officials report the two men were unable to walk. Another helicopter aircrew airlifted the two men out of the ravine. EMS crews evaluated the two Mexican nationals and transported them to a hospital where doctors treated them for heat-related injuries, the report continued.
Later that evening, Border Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents began a search and rescue operation for another lost migrant. The agents searched the area near Jamul, California, and eventually located the man. Another helicopter crew airlifted the Mexican national to Brown Field Airport. Agents treated the man and then transported him to the Border Patrol station for processing.
Agents, along with emergency response partners, carried out a total of 11 rescue operations over the holiday weekend. Eight of the 14 rescued migrants had to be treated for heat-related injuries at local hospitals. One other man received treatment for a snake bite while another was treated for kidney failure.
“These rescues are a direct testament to the heart, soul, and character of our agents,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in a written statement. “Crossing the border illegally remains an inherently dangerous endeavor and USBP takes every injury very seriously. Migrants often become lost, injured, and abandoned by smugglers who only see them as commodities for exploitation.”