Photo via Pixabay
An example of baby bald eagles nesting. Photo via Pixabay

A 1,000-foot radius has been earmarked as a stay-away zone for firefighters battling the San Gabriel Complex Fire because a baby bald eagle is developing there in a nest.

The nest is not in harm’s way due to the blazes, Ann Berkley, a U.S. Forest Service biologist, told the Los Angeles Times. The stay-away zone has been established to eliminate the noise and turbulence that water-dumping aircraft produce since it could disturb the young eagle and hinder its development, she said.

“We don’t want to startle him out of the nest because it could be very detrimental to his survival,” Berkley said.

The baby bald eagle is believed to be between 10 to 12 weeks old, according to the newspaper.

It’s a rarity for bald eagles to nest in the region, Berkley said, adding that since “this one nested so successfully, we’re doing everything we can to protect it.”

The first reports of bald eagles in the area came in late 2011, according to The Times. This baby bald eagle was initially spotted in April.

While not an endangered species, bald eagles are protected by the government.     The fire — which is 15 percent contained and has burned more than 4,900 acres — continued raging today, with more than 1,400 firefighters working in the Angeles National Forest and foothills above Duarte and Azusa to extinguish it.

—City News Service

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