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1,600-Acre Bernardo Fire 25 Percent Contained

Above: The Bernardo Fire spread quickly in northern parts of the city of San Diego on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

UPDATE: Officials say the fire burned more than 1,600 acres and is 25 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.


10News

A helicopter drops retardant on a brush fire near 4S Ranch, May 13, 2014.

A baseball player walks to the outfield at Del Norte High School as the Bernardo Fire rages in the background. May 13, 2014.

Special Feature San Diego Fire News

Follow our latest coverage of wildfires in San Diego.

Original post:

No injuries were reported and all buildings were spared as about 800 acres burned and homes, schools and businesses were evacuated during the Bernardo fire that broke out Tuesday in northern San Diego.

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, all San Diego evacuation orders had been lifted.

As evening set, the fire remained 5 percent contained, San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar said.

"We will learn something from this fire... but this went extremely well," Mainar said at an evening press conference, adding no fire since 2007 had "caused this much concern" to the firefighting community.

At its peak, more than 150 firefighters fought the brush fire on the ground with support from city, county and state air resources.

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said 300 homes in the city of San Diego were evacuated. More than 100 San Diego police officers helped with the evacuation, in addition to San Diego County sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol.

About 22,000 Alert San Diego evacuation alerts were sent — 5,000 to San Diego County residents and 17,000 to city of San Diego residents, including homes, businesses and cellphones, according to the county's Twitter feed.

The San Diego County Emergency Update website originally said 20,000 homes were evacuated, but San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore later said that number was wrong. Three elementary schools in the area were also evacuated.

Rancho Sante Fe Fire Chief Tony Michel said crews will remain in the area overnight to help mop up hot spots and control the fire perimeter.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Lawson said additional resources will start early Wednesday morning before winds pick up, adding that the flame front had slowed and helicopters capable of doing water drops at night were available if needed.

"Hopefully they get this buttoned up and provide a level of comfort to the residents in the area," Lawson said.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer declared a local state of emergency, "which enables us to seek federal reimbursements and costs and other assistance as we move forward," he said at a news conference Tuesday night.

Faulconer thanked the firefighters and law enforcement who helped stop the fire from damaging any structures.

"I can tell you unequivocally first hand, we are lucky to have the men and women that have thrown all their efforts and energy into this this afternoon," he said.

Rancho Bernardo High School at 13010 Paseo Lucido in San Diego was being used as an emergency shelter. Evacuees were moved from the original shelter at Torrey Pines High School.

No injuries were reported during the evacuation process, Zimmerman said. About 100 San Diego police officers joined 70 sheriff's deputies to help people leave their homes and businesses. An additional 60 deputies would work overnight, Gore said.

The fire first broke out near Del Norte High School about 10:45 a.m., Mainar said. He said the cause of the fire is being investigated.

SeaWorld spokesman Dave Koontz said the park took in about 25 cats and dogs from evacuated homes. A team from SeaWorld also helped workers at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe move larger, "exotic" animals, he said. Larger animals, including horses, were sent to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Helen Woodward spokeswoman Jessica Gercke said 90 percent of the center's 400 animals had been evacuated, including 17 horses, three goats, two alpacas and two 80-pound tortoises that were hauled off in wheelbarrows.

Smaller brush fires also broke out Tuesday morning in Campo and Dulzura.

Cal Fire crews extinguished the Campo brush fire that scorched about 4 open acres and engulfed two mobile homes near state Route 94 and Shockey Truck Trail.

There were no reports of injuries in that fire.

In Dulzura, three small fires possibly sparked by wind-severed power lines blackened about one-third of an acre off Route 94, near Clark Ranch.

The non-injury blazes in the Dulzura area began spreading shortly before 9 a.m., according to Cal Fire.

Arriving firefighters encountered several downed power lines, making it difficult at first for them to get close to the flames, Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said.

It took fire personnel about an hour to contain the blazes, which eventually merged into a single burn area, Bortisser said.

About 650 homes in the area were without power in the area at the time of the fire, according to San Diego Gas & Electric. By late morning, repair crews had restored service to about half of those customers, the utility reported.

A "red flag" wildfire warning is in effect for valley and mountain areas Tuesday, with gusts in excess of 65 mph likely, according to the National Weather Service.

Map

San Diego County Emergency Map


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Above: County of San Diego publicly available GIS information about emergencies in the San Diego Region. This map has a combination of information from live feed sensors, USGS hazard information, and data that the County of San Diego collects. This map is directly connected to the County of San Diego GIS Emergency Site data feed so that fire perimeter information, reverse 911 info, and general emergency information can be displayed. Please note that fire, evacuation, and other hazard boundaries are approximate and can change rapidly. This map is based on official mapping sources that show rough footprints of active emergencies and emergency notification areas from responding agencies that may take several hours to produce. Zooming into specific locations may produce misleading information. Please monitor official County of San Diego Updates or call 2-1-1 for specific emergency information such as road closures and evacuations.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | May 13, 2014 at 2:37 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

if they had leased the super scooper planes this season, most likely it would have been doused in the early stages.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CitizenScientist'

CitizenScientist | May 13, 2014 at 9:07 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

This incident is eerily similar to the 2007 Witch Canyon FireStorm. They both began Up-Canyon in the San Dieguito River Valley Watershed and roared down to the sea.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | May 13, 2014 at 10:34 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

Mikey the super scooper would have made a dent but the way this fire spread was not stoppable by that type of attack.

( | suggest removal )