Border Patrol rescues 2 people from mountain brushfire near Tucson

Sep 3, 2023, 10:15 AM

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo)...

PHOENIX — Arizona officials announced Thursday they had rescued a woman from a mountain brushfire near Tucson earlier this week.

It was one of two rescues they conducted on Monday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The organization’s Air and Marine Operations team conducted the two rescues in the evening of Aug. 28.

Before they saved the woman, a man brought them to the area through a 911 call. He caught the attention of an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team in Tucson, officials said.

An aircrew on a UH-60, also known as a Black Hawk helicopter, took to the skies. They had to rescue him from the Baboquivari Mountains, a 2,065-acre stretch of wilderness around 30 miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Officials couldn’t reach him by land since he was on a high mountain peak surrounded by cliffs. Not only that, but recent rainfall had soaked the ground — and a storm was fast approaching.

“The UH-60 crew conducted a landing, rescued the undocumented migrant and transferred him to U.S. Border Patrol agents for processing,” CBP said.

Then they saved a woman from a mountain brushfire near Tucson

After rescuing the man, the aircrew received a notification from the Arizona Air Coordination Center. It said another person in the area needed them: a woman in distress.

“The UH-60 crew located the second individual near a life-threatening brush fire that had erupted after a passing thunderstorm in the Baboquivari Mountains,” CBP said.

Once they found the victim, they lowered a rescue specialist wearing an air-lift rescue vest, who conducted a hoist rescue to get the woman out of danger, CBP said.

The aircrew then transferred her to the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team in Tucson.

Deputy Director of Tucson Air Branch Jose Muriente advised travelers to avoid the area.

“The terrain and weather encountered in the Baboquivari Mountains are dangerous,” he said in a statement. “You are putting yourself at extreme risk when you try to navigate these unforgiving conditions.”

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Border Patrol rescues 2 people from mountain brushfire near Tucson