Migrants Start Signal Fires After Illegally Crossing into Arizona Desert

CBP aircrew rescues injured Border Patrol agent in Arizona mountains. (Photo: U.S. Customs
File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents carried out more rescues of migrants lost in the southwestern Arizona desert. In one of the incidents, a migrant set a fire as a signal after becoming distressed from the heat.

Welton Station agents patrolling near Tacna, Arizona, on Saturday received information about a 911 call from a man claiming to be a lost illegal immigrant, according to information obtained from Yuma Sector Border Patrol official. The agents teamed up with Yuma County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge officers to carry out a search and rescue operation. The migrant claimed to be able to see the lights of Tacna — his ultimate destination.

After searching for an undisclosed period, a Border Patrol agent observed a fire. The agent tracked down the source and found the migrant. Officials reported the man to be in good health. Officials did not disclose the nationality of the recovered migrant.

On Monday, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office notified Yuma Station Border Patrol agents about a 911 call where a migrant said they were lost in the desert. Sheriff’s office officials provided the Border Patrol agents with GPS coordinates for the call. A Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agent joined with other agents and located the migrant a short time later. The BORSTAR agent administered medical aid after conducting an assessment.

Both of the lost migrants were transported to the respective stations and removed to Mexico under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In recent days, there have been numerous signal fires set by illegal immigrants lost in the desert. On Friday, a Yuma Sector Border Patrol agent observed a signal fire. The agent responded with others to the area and found two illegal immigrants in distress, Breitbart Texas reported. Two days earlier, an Air and Marine Operations helicopter aircrew observed another signal fire and directed ground crews to the scene where a 33-year-old Mexican national had become lost.

Despite the lower number of illegal border crossings due to the Coronavirus and new protocols put in place to return migrants to Mexico or Central America, the number of migrant rescues is increasing significantly in the Yuma Sector. Officials in the sector office told Breitbart Texas rescues are up 128 percent this year over last. “Considering it is only going to get hotter, we foresee our number of rescues continuing to climb,” a Border Patrol official told Breitbart Texas.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.