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217-acre Banner Fire East Of Julian Contained

The rubble of a home that was destroyed by the Banner fire that started July, 3, 2014, east of Julian.
The rubble of a home that was destroyed by the Banner fire that started July, 3, 2014, east of Julian.

UPDATE July 6, 2014, 9:15 a.m.: Banner Fire 100% Contained

Cal Fire announced Sunday morning that the Banner fire was contained. The blaze east of Julian threatened 200 homes and led to evacuations after it started Thursday morning.

The brush fire was kept to 217 acres. It destroyed two homes and one outbuilding.


UPDATE July 5, 2014, 7:45 a.m.: Firefighting Effort Scaled Back With Blaze 90% Contained

Cal Fire has significantly reduced the number of firefighters on the scene of the Banner fire, which started Thursday morning east of Julian. At one point, a little more than 300 firefighters were on the scene. As of Saturday morning, Cal Fire said 91 firefighters were still working to fully contain the blaze. Five fire engines were still being used.

The size of the fire remained at 217 acres. The next update from Cal Fire likely won't come until Saturday night.

At its height, the fire threatened 200 homes and led to evacuations. Two homes and one outbuilding were destroyed in the blaze. The cause has not been determined.

UPDATE July 4, 2014, 6:30 p.m.: Fire 70% Contained; 4 Injured Battling Blaze


Cal Fire gave its Friday night update on the Banner fire, saying it remains at 217 acres and is now 70 percent contained. The state firefighting agency also said four injuries occurred fighting the blaze that started east of Julian on Thursday morning.

The agency said 326 firefighters worked the blaze. Equipment being used: 35 fire engines and eight water tenders.

UPDATE July 4, 2014, 4:45 p.m.: Heavy Rain Reported In Fire Area

The National Weather Service reported that heavy rain in the fire area could cause debris flows. The storms had weakened slightly since 4 p.m., but "ponding of water" was possible on state Route 78 east of Julian, the weather service said.

UPDATE July 4, 2014, 7 a.m.: Banner Fire 40 Percent Contained

Firefighters made progress overnight in containing the Banner fire, that started at 10:43 a.m. Thursday. As of 7 a.m. Friday, Cal Fire said the fire had grown to 217 acres and was 40 percent contained.

About 330 firefighters were working the fire, Cal Fire said. Equipment being used to battle the blaze: 28 fire engines; six air tankers; four helicopters; and four water tenders.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: All Evacuations Lifted At 8 p.m.

The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services announced that all evacuation orders would be lifted at 8 p.m. Only residents will be able to return to the previously evacuated areas and residents were asked to use caution reentering their communities due to ongoing fire fighting efforts.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: Evacuation Center Moved Back To Julian High School

The San Diego Red Cross said Julian High is again the temporary evacuation point for the Banner fire. Julian High School is located at 1656 Highway 78, 92036.

The previous evacuation point was Jess Martin County Park.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: Fourth Of July Parade Canceled In Julian

The Julian Chamber of Commerce's phone line has a message saying the annual Independence Day parade has been canceled because of the fire.

The Julian News reports that the Concert in the Park at Julian Museum will go on from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, as will a barbecue at the American Legion.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Evacuations Partially Lifted In Julian Area

Evacuation orders remain in effect for the Kentwood and Whispering Pines neighborhoods, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department, but all other evacuation notices sent at 11:30 a.m. have been lifted.

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.: Fire Containment Update

The Banner fire is now 15 percent contained and has burned approximately 150 acres, according to Cal Fire.

Two residences have been destroyed along with one outbuilding. Evacuations are still in place, Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said.

An air tanker drops fire retardant on a brush fire near Julian, July 3, 2014.
Casey Wrightsman / 10News
An air tanker drops fire retardant on a brush fire near Julian, July 3, 2014.

UPDATE 3:27 p.m.: Updated Air Resources Information

Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said six air tankers and four helicopters were aiding firefighters on the ground. Bortisser estimated the wind to between 3-5 mph but added the weather had not cooled off yet.

"It's warm out here," he said.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: Structures Damaged; Containment Update

At least two structures have been damaged by the 100-acre fire burning east of Julian, Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said. The fire is now 5 percent contained.

Original post:

A 100-acre brush fire that broke out about 10:45 a.m. Thursday along Banner Grade east of Julian has damaged two structures and prompted evacuations and is threatening at least 200 homes, authorities said.

The fire is threatening at least 200 homes in the Whispering Pines area.

MAP: See below for a map of the fire and evacuation center

Road Closures

State Route 78 at Manzanita Drive

Manzanita Drive at Lakeview Drive

The communities of Kentwood and Whispering Pines have been ordered to evacuate, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Authorities initially set up a temporary evacuation center at Julian High School but said at 1:30 p.m. that it had been moved to Jess Martin County Park at 2955 Highway 79.

The Sheriff's Department said it used AlertSanDiego to make 512 contacts for the evacuations, according to the San Diego County Emergency Site.

DOCUMENT: Prepare to evacuate with the FEMA Evacuation Checklist

Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said at least 10 fire trucks and six air tankers and four helicopters were aiding firefighters on the ground.

"No containment yet," he said. "The fire is still moving."

San Diego-Fire Rescue also sent a water tanker from the San Pasqual Valley.

GUIDE: If you only have 5 minutes to evacuate

Tom Nickel of Nickel Beer Co. could see heavy smoke from his Julian brewery.

"People are very nervous," he said, "there's a lot of timber up here that hasn't burned in a while."

Caltrans closed part of state Route 78 as a result of the blaze, which has been dubbed the Banner fire.

Unlike the persistent Santa Ana conditions during the may wildfires that swept across North County, the weather forecast for Julian favors firefighting efforts. Winds are only 5 to 10 mph Thursday under sunny skies, though gusts in the evening could reach 20 mph. There’s a 20 percent chance of showers in the area Thursday night and again on Friday.