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Fast-Moving Wildfire Fire Burns 1,200 Acres Near Julian

This Cal Fire map shows the location of the Banner Fire, near Julian. The red outlines where the fire is active.
Cal Fire
This Cal Fire map shows the location of the Banner Fire, near Julian. The red outlines where the fire is active.

A fast-moving wildfire that prompted the evacuation of 100 homes and blackened 1,200 acres is 5 percent contained as of 9:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

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Fire officials said all evacuation orders in the Shelter Valley area have been lifted and Highway 78 has been re-opened.

The fire broke out shortly after 2:15 p.m. in an area east of Julian near the Banner Grade, according to Cal Fire officials.

Cal Fire said the fire had grown to 1,200 acres as of 5:45 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. they said it was 5 percent contained, but continued to burn rapidly to the east toward Granite Peak.

Highway S2 has been closed between Scissors Crossing and Shelter Valley.

Borrego Springs High School at 2281 Diegueno Drive will serve as an evacuation center, fire officials said. A Call Center has been established at (619) 590-3160.

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More than 200 crew members fought the east-moving flames on the ground, and aboard water-dropping helicopters and a half-dozen air tankers.

The San Diego County Emergency Operations Center is activated at a Level 1 staffing pattern. County staff are monitoring the situation and working closely with CAL FIRE and San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies.

Crews expected to be fighting the flames through the night, possibly challenged by increasing winds, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler said.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the blaze, which was burning in an area scorched early last October by a 2,100-acre conflagration dubbed the Great Fire.

Corrected: February 1, 2023 at 11:56 AM PST
City News Service contributed to the information in this report.