San Diegans collecting donations for those affected by fires in Mexico

Three killed during wildfires in Mexico's Baja
Posted at 1:01 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 20:52:48-04

TIJUANA, Mexico. (KGTV and AP) -- At least three people were killed in wind-driven fires that scorched a large swath of Baja, California last week, the Associated Press reports.

Last Friday, Mexico’s civil defense told AP the fires forced more than 1,600 people to evacuate their homes.

The fires burned near Tecate, Tijuana and between the coastal towns of Rosarito and Ensenada.

The fire near Tecate burned more than 35,000 acres, according to AP.

Schools were also shut down in Tijuana, Tecate and Rosarito due to heavy smoke in the area.

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Fire officials in the region blamed strong Santa Ana winds that whipped through the region last week.

Mexican officials told CNN the fire tore through 125 homes, 30 of which are in the city of Tijuana.

Local support to help those affected by the fires is growing in San Diego, especially from the local Kumeyaay population.

Anna Gloria Rodriguez showed a growing pile of donations in her office Wednesday.

“Furniture, some blankets and pillows,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is part of the Kumeyaay Nation and is heading up the effort to collect donations to bring to her family across the border.

“The Kumeyaay Nation has people on both sides of the border. We have family in all the communities,” she continued. “The whole big mountains already burned but still one part on fire, so there was a lot of people in the community trying to put dirt and water.”

While her family and many others are safe, the fires left some without electricity or easy access to clean water or food.

The U.S. consulate in Tijuana issued a warning to travelers about the fires, especially as Santa Ana wind conditions continue throughout the week.