Environment & Science

San Gabriel Complex firefighters are protecting this bald eagle family (from a distance)

FILE PHOTO: A bald eagle family is at the center of a 1,000 foot radius firefighters are not permitted to enter, but must protect.
FILE PHOTO: A bald eagle family is at the center of a 1,000 foot radius firefighters are not permitted to enter, but must protect.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Amid the flames of the San Gabriel Complex Fire burning since Monday afternoon, there's a small family dwelling in the Angeles National Forest that needs extra protection: a pair of bald eagles and their hatchling.

The nest is at the center of a 1,000 foot radius firefighters are not permitted to enter, but must protect. Partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Angeles National Forest secured the 1,000-buffer around and above the nest to protect the birds. 

https://twitter.com/Angeles_NF/status/745782936536915968

The bald eagle hatchling is something Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument has not had in years, according to Nathan Judy of Angeles National Forest spokesperson. He said that parent bald eagles spent the 2013-14 winter in the forest, but recently returned and made a permanent home there in 2015. 

“If the fire were to have gotten down anywhere near the nest, the smoke and flames probably would drive the birds away from the nest and that’s what we didn’t want to have happen,” Judy told KPCC. "Our firefighters worked very diligently to keep fire out of that area." 

The San Gabriel Complex Fire has burned 5,235 acres and is at 15 percent containment as of Thursday morning.