Second firefighter injured in 150-acre brush fire south of Nacimiento Lake

The Deer Fire burns south of Nacimiento Lake on Friday, July 10.
The Deer Fire burns south of Nacimiento Lake on Friday, July 10. Cal Fire SLO

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: The Deer fire has grown to 150 acres and was 35 percent contained Saturday afternoon.

Cal Fire Capt. Dave Kay said one firefighter was injured Saturday, but no details were released. A firefighter also was injured on Friday, suffering burns to the feet while fighting the fire.

Kay estimated that it may take another day or two for full containment of the fire, which is burning in a remote area southwest of Nacimiento Lake. 

Cal Fire has been busy bringing in water by helicopter for the ground crews to drink while fighting the blaze, he said.

"That's been a busy chore today," he said.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: The Deer fire that was first reported at about 12:30 p.m. Friday has grown to 140 acres and is 20 percent contained, a Cal Fire dispatcher said.

The fire is being fought Saturday with the use of four helicopters, four air tankers and ground crews, the dispatcher said. No structures are threatened in the fire, which is in a remote area in the Running Deer Ranch area southwest of Nacimiento Lake.

One firefighter was injured early Friday evening, reportedly with burns to the feet. No update on the firefighter's condidtion was available Saturday morning. No other injuries have been reported.

The main runway at Paso Robles airport that was closed at 4 p.m. Friday when an tanker plane accidentally dropped a load of fire retardant on the pavement was reopened at 9 p.m. Friday, the dispatcher said.

A second runway had remained open so the accident didn't affect firefighting capability, he said. Air tankers were still able to land and load up retardant.

ORIGINAL STORY FRIDAY: A wildfire southwest of Nacimiento Lake had burned 80 acres and was 5 percent contained as of 5 p.m. Friday, according to Cal Fire. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with possible burns on the feet.

Capt. Brent Lee said there was no estimate on when the fire would be contained.

“We’ll have quiet a few resources on it tomorrow,” he said.

The fire was burning in a difficult-to-access area, but no structures were threatened. Emergency crews and aircraft battled the blaze into the evening. The fire was reported to Cal Fire about 12:30 p.m. in the Running Deer Ranch area at the southwestern tip of the lake.

Seven aircraft dumped fire retardant to stave off the growth of the blaze, while 10 fire engines, two bulldozers and four water tankers trudged through the rugged terrain to reach the area.

An air tanker carrying fire retardant to the fire accidentally dropped its load on the runway at Paso Robles airport at about 4 p.m., causing the airport to close the runway while the bright orange powder was cleaned up.

Lee didn't know how much fire retardant the tanker was carrying at the time, but it holds up to 3,000 gallons, he said.