CBP AMO And BP Crews Partner To Rescue Person From Mountain Brushfire

Crews conduct 2 rescues on one day

brush fire
Crews conduct a mountain brush fire rescue. [Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection crews worked with U.S. Border Patrol agents in conducting two rescues on August 28, including one hoist rescue from a brushfire in the Baboquivari Mountains. 

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on Monday evening, a Tucson-based Air and Marine Operations (AMO)  UH-60 aircrew responded to a Tucson Sector U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agent’s report of an ongoing search in the Baboquivari Mountains for a 911 caller.

The aircrew located the person and determined the terrain was not trafficable by ground as the individual was surrounded by sheer cliffs on a high mountain peak. Additionally, the ground was saturated from recent rainfall and a second 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. 

The aircrew continued on aerial patrol and received notification from the Arizona Air Coordination Center that another person required rescue. 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. The Tucson-based crew lowered an AMO Rescue Specialist via Air-Lift Rescue Vest (ARV) and conducted a hoist rescue of the female in distress. The crew transferred the rescued individual to BORSTAR agents for processing. 

“The terrain and weather encountered in the Baboquivari Mountains are dangerous,” stated Jose Muriente, Deputy Director of Tucson Air Branch. “You are putting yourself at extreme risk when you try to navigate these unforgiving conditions.” 

Air and Marine Operations UH-60 crews are uniquely trained and equipped to conduct rescues in unpredictable and hazardous conditions, such as the recent rescue of a woman from a brushfire in the Baboquivari Mountains. 

In Fiscal Year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.

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