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Firefighters battling a pair of wildfires in the San Gabriel Mountains have been instructed to avoid a 1,000-foot radius area around a nest where a baby eagle is getting ready to fledge, a U.S. Forest Service official said Wednesday.

The bald eagle’s nest is not located in part of the forest where the Reservoir and Fish fires are burning. The buffer zone above and around the nest is intended for water-dumping helicopters, which create noise and air turbulence that could disturb the chick, said Ann Berkley, a wildlife biologist with the Forest Service.

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

More than 1,000 firefighters were battling the blazes, which are separated by about 1 ½ miles. The wildfires broke out during Monday’s record-breaking heat wave, and are jointly called the San Gabriel Complex fire. So far, they have burned about 4,900 acres, authorities said. The fires were about 10% contained on Wednesday.

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