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Target Shooting Possible Cause Of Shockey Fire

A brush fire in the Campo area on September 23.
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Above: A brush fire in the Campo area on September 23.

Target shooting may have been the cause of a 2,556-acre wildfire that killed a man and destroyed 25 structures last week in southeastern San Diego County, authorities reported today.

Investigators have pinpointed the origin of the so-called Shockey Fire to a remote Campo-area spot frequented by gun enthusiasts and are trying to determine if one of them sparked the conflagration, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze began spreading near State Route 94 and Shockey Truck Trail about noon Sept. 23.

Within several hours, authorities were directing residents potentially in the path of the wind-whipped flames to vacate their neighborhoods.

The next day, firefighters found the body of 69-year-old Carson Robison in the charred ruins of his Tierra del Sol Road home. The disabled retiree had decided to ignore the call to clear out of the area, neighbors said.

Including Robison's residence, the blaze destroyed 11 homes, along with 14 outbuildings and 11 vehicles, before crews got it contained Thursday morning.

At the height of the blaze, nearly 1,000 ground and airborne personnel were battling the flames. Three of them suffered minor injuries while working the fire lines.

Cal Fire urged anyone who might be able to help determine the cause of the blaze to call the agency's arson tip line at (800) 468-4408.

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