A backfire was set in Indian Prairie to intercept and halt incoming flames from the initial outbreak . A backfire is a fire started to stop an advancing fire by creating a burned area in its path.Strong winds, however, allowed the fire to push through the backburn and spread into the marsh at Harney Pond at Lakeport. To date, approximately 9000-12,000 acres of marsh and upland habitat have burned. The source of the fire is unknown but is suspected to have been an intentional act.
The greatest danger posed by fire is the potential for it to �jump� the rim canal and tow ditch and damage private property. Conservation experts say fire can be beneficial in releasing nutrients from burned plants, helping to stimulate growth in unproductive habitats. Fire also burns away thick, old growth vegetation and creates space for new plants to thrive.