Monday, June 18, 2012
Crews labored for a second day today to subdue a wildfire that blackened hundreds of brushy acres, destroyed one home and threatened more than 200 others in the far southeastern reaches of San Diego County.
Wildfire Safety Tips
- Develop a Plan: Talk with members of your household about wildfires — how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs. Post fire emergency telephone numbers.
- Determine Escape Routes: Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and by foot.
- Decide Where to Meet: Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
- Protect Your Home: Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind.
- Create a 100-Foot Safety Zone Around Your Home.
Source: American Red Cross
As of noon, hundreds of residents remained evacuated from their homes due to the so-called Old Fire, which erupted for unknown reasons near Old Highway 80 and Miller Valley Road in the Campo area early Sunday afternoon.
By late this morning, firefighters had the roughly 900-acre burn area about 30 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. The state agency estimated that the blaze would be fully surrounded by Tuesday night.
The flames leveled a residence and an outbuilding while spreading through back-country terrain east of Pine Valley, and a firefighter suffered a minor injury while working the lines.
On Sunday, the county Sheriff's Department used a "reverse 911'' system to clear people out of about 150 threatened homes. After daybreak this morning, additional evacuation orders were issued for residents of Boulevard and Live Oak Springs.
This morning, Church Road between Old Highway 80 and State Route 94 was closed, along with a stretch of Old Highway 80 from Tierra Del Sol to Church Road.
Jacumba and Clover Flat elementary schools were closed today as a precaution, according to the Mountain Empire Unified School District.
An evacuation center and command post were in operation at Golden Acorn Casino.
Weather conditions, meanwhile, were expected to shift, increasing the burden on firefighters.
At noon, a "red flag" wind warning went into effect in local mountain and desert locales, effective through 11 p.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service issues the alert when strong air currents, low humidity and warm temperatures combine to create critical wildfire conditions.
As of this morning, Cal Fire had 489 fire personnel, 62 engines, 19 fire crews, four air tankers, five helicopters, seven bulldozers and five water trucks assigned to the blaze. A sheriff's fire-rescue helicopter also was making water drops.
About noon on Sunday, another fire broke out off the 1800 block of Potrero Road in Tecate. The flames scorched about eight open acres before crews were able to get them under control.
A structure and a travel trailer have been destroyed, but no injuries have been reported, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.