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Agua Caliente supports fire relief efforts

17 July 2013

PALM SPRINGS, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is working with multiple agencies assisting in the risk assessment efforts of Mountain Fire, a wildfire that started at 1:43 p.m. Monday near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74 near the town of Idyllwild. On Tuesday morning, the Tribe deployed its new Mobile Command Post to a location at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The fire has grown to more than 8,000 acres and dozens of people and animals have been evacuated from affected areas, according to U.S. Forest Service reports. More than 600 firefighters have been attacking the fire from the ground and air. The fire is burning in very steep and rugged terrain in the southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness along the Desert Divide and in the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista Areas.

“Our Mobile Command Post has a state-of-the-art dispatch system so we can communicate with public safety agencies as we work with them to assess the potential fire threat to our reservation and the Canyons recreational area,” Tribal Chairman Jeff Grubbe said. “We have been working closely with the agencies involved since the fire began Monday afternoon. And, we are eager to help protect one of our most culturally rich and historically important areas.”

The wildfire has threatened Andreas Canyon Club, which is comprised of 23 homes and a clubhouse, and borders the very sacred Andreas Canyon. All homes in that area have been evacuated. Agua Caliente’s Canyons staff members are actively involved in the planning to minimize impact and are assisting the various agencies who are working to suppress and extinguish the fire.

"We extend our sincerest appreciation to all the crews who are putting themselves in harm's way to fight this fire," Chairman Grubbe said.

The Agua Caliente owns and manages the Indian Canyons, an approximate 56-square mile recreational area that includes more than 60 miles of trails. The Canyons attract more than 125,000 visitors a year to enjoy the scenic trails, plants, wildlife and cultural sites. The Canyons, which are significant to the Tribe’s history, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About the Tribe: The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe located in Palm Springs, California, with 32,000 acres of reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. The Tribe currently owns and operates two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Spa Resort Casino and Hotel in downtown Palm Springs, the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage and the Tahquitz and Indian Canyons recreational areas.

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