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Live Updates: Southern Fire Now 90% Contained After Burning 5,366 Acres East Of Julian

The charred patch of land from the Southern Fire in the Shelter Valley area, ...

Credit: Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire

Above: The charred patch of land from the Southern Fire in the Shelter Valley area, May 4, 2021.

Fire Information

Status: Active

Location: Great Southern Overland, in the community of Shelter Valley

Percentage Contained: 90%

Acres Burned: 5,366

Structures Damaged: 3 homes, 2 out structures

Evacuations: Order lifted for Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community and the surrounding community.

Evacuation Location: Agua Caliente Campgrounds 39545 Great Southern Overland Stage Route

Animal Evacuation: Vallecito County Park 37349 Great Southern Overland Stage Route

– 8:35 a.m., Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Southern Fire, which burned 5,366 acres in Shelter Valley east of Julian, was 90% contained Wednesday, authorities said.

The burn area was reported at 5,318 acres with 80% containment Tuesday evening, according to Cal Fire. Evacuation orders for Butterfield Ranch and the surrounding community were lifted Monday afternoon.

The brush fire was reported about 5:15 p.m. Saturday off the 14900 block of Great Southern Overland Stage Route. Within 90 minutes, it had spread to about 1,200 acres, leveled three structures and forced the evacuation of roughly 500 residents from Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community to Agua Caliente Campground.

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. By Sunday afternoon, that number had increased to 70.

No injuries have been reported.

The San Diego Humane Society supported the county Department of Animal Services with evacuations of pets and livestock — including rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens — on Saturday night.

– 6:58 p.m., Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Southern Fire has now charred 5,318 acres and was 80% contained Tuesday evening, according to Cal Fire San Diego.

The burned acreage increased by 134 from Tuesday morning when it was still reported at 5,184. Cal Fire said firefighters have been working day and night to battle the flames.

Residents were urged to drive cautiously in the area as crews were still actively working the blaze.

– 5:33 p.m., Monday, May 3, 2021

Firefighters were continuing to battle the South Fire in Shelter Valley area east of Julian that broke out over the weekend.

As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, the burnt acreage remained steady at 5,184 and the fire was 55% contained. Three homes and two outbuildings were lost in the flames, according to Cal Fire.

The conflagration coincides with the California Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Cal Fire spokesman Capt. Frank LoCoco said he expects the fire will be further contained in the coming days due to favorable weather conditions.

– 1:25 p.m., Monday, May 3, 2021

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community and the surrounding community Monday as firefighters continued to battle a brush fire that has scorched 5,184 acres since breaking out in the Shelter Valley area east of Julian.

CalFire lifted the orders around 12:15 p.m. Road closures along County Route S2 have also been lifted but authorities urged drivers to be cautious in the area as firefighters are still fighting the blaze in the area.

The Southern Fire was 25% contained as of 10 a.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire San Diego Capt. Frank LoCoco.

Early Monday morning, Cal Fire's incident page showed the fire had burned an estimated 6,500 acres, but that estimate was reduced to 5,184 acres by 10 a.m. Monday.

– 10:44 a.m., Monday, May 3, 2021

Firefighters Monday were continuing to battle a brush fire that has scorched 5,184 acres since breaking out in the Shelter Valley area east of Julian.

The blaze was 25% contained as of 10 a.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire San Diego Capt. Frank LoCoco.

Early Monday morning, Cal Fire's incident page showed the fire had burned an estimated 6,500 acres, but that estimate was reduced to 5,184 acres by 10 a.m. Monday.

The San Diego County emergency map via Mapbox is shown above.

The fire, dubbed the "Southern Fire," was reported about 5:15 p.m. Saturday off Great Southern Overland Stage Route. Motorists first called the California Highway Patrol to report smoke in the area shortly after 4:05 p.m., and Cal Fire San Diego reported the address as 14925 Great Southern Overland Stage.

By 6:40 p.m. Saturday, the fire had spread to about 1,200 acres, three structures were destroyed and roughly 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Communityto Agua Caliente Campgrounds.

Those evacuations remained in effect Monday morning, LoCoco said.

The blaze grew to 2,900 acres Sunday morning, then 5,184 acres by Sunday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. By Sunday afternoon, that number had increased to 70.

Resources remain available at the temporary evacuation point at Agua Caliente Campgrounds, 39545 Great Southern Overland Stage Route. The Red Cross' virtual assistance line can be reached at 571-595-7910.

The San Diego Humane Society's Emergency Response Team supported the county's Department of Animal Services with animal evacuations Saturday night. They rescued rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens, officials said.

For help with animal evacuations, area residents were asked to call the Department of Animal Services at 619-236-2341.

Winds out of the north Monday were expected to be 15-25 mph in the mountains and deserts, with gusts possibly reaching 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

"The winds have calmed substantially compared to (Sunday)," LoCoco said, adding that containment was expected to increase due to the favorable conditions.

– 3:00 p.m., Sunday, May 2, 2021

Firefighters are battling a brush fire Sunday in Shelter Valley area that has consumed approximately 5,184 acres since breaking out Saturday evening.

Containment was at 25% with strong winds of 40 to 60 mph. The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory that was in effect until 11 p.m. Sunday for the San Diego County mountains and deserts.

Approximately 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community. Three structures were destroyed in the fire, Cal Fire San Diego reported.

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. Resources remained available at the temporary evacuation point at Agua Caliente Campgrounds, 39545 Great Southern Overland Stage Route.

The San Diego Humane Society's Emergency Response Team supported the county's Department of Animal Services with animal evacuations Saturday night. They rescued rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens, officials said.

For help with animal evacuations, area residents were asked to call the Department of Animal Services at 619-236-2341.

Firefighters continued to improve the containment line Sunday afternoon, Cal Fire reported.

The fire was reported at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on the Great Southern Overland. Motorists first called the California Highway Patrol to report smoke in the area at 4:06 p.m. and Cal Fire San Diego reported the address as 14925 Great Southern Overland Stage.

By 6:38 p.m., the agency tweeted that the fire had spread to about 1,200 acres, three structures were destroyed and roughly 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community to Agua Caliente Campgrounds.

– 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 2, 2021

Firefighters are battling a brush fire in Shelter Valley area that has consumed 2,900 acres.

The blaze is 0% contained after strong overnight winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour fueled the fire. Firefighters continue to work, building a containment line, the San Diego County Fire Department reported.

The fire was reported by Cal Fire San Diego at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on the Great Southern Overland.

Motorists first called the California Highway Patrol to report smoke in the area at 4:06 p.m. and the agency reported the address as 14925 Great Southern Overland Stage.

By 6:38 p.m., the agency tweeted the fire had spread to about 1,200 acres, three structures were destroyed and roughly 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Manufactured Home and Rv Community to Agua Caliente.

At 7:45 p.m., Cal Fire reported the acreage was reduced to 800 acres and there was cleared vegetation around 5% of the fire.

RELATED: Strong, Gusty Winds Forecast For SD County Mountains, Deserts

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. Resources remained available at the temporary evacuation point at Agua Caliente Campgrounds, 39545 Great Southern Overland Stage Route.

The San Diego Humane Society's Emergency Response Team supported the county's Department of Animal Services with animal evacuations Saturday night. They rescued rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens, officials said.

For help with animal evacuations, area residents were asked to call the Department of Animal Services at 619-236-2341.

Firefighters continued to build a containment line Sunday, the San Diego County Fire Department reported.

— KPBS staff

RELATED: What You Need To Know When There's A Fire

Emergency Supply Checklist

–Three-day supply of nonperishable food and three gallons of water per person.

– Map marked with at least two evacuation routes.

– Prescriptions or special medications.

– Change of clothing.

– Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses.

– An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler's checks.

– First aid kit.

– Flashlight.

– Battery-powered radio and extra batteries.

– Sanitation supplies.

– Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)

– Don't forget pet food and water!

Source: CAL FIRE

Editor's Note: We have updated the story to reflect the fire impacting the Shelter Valley area, which includes residents of Mason Valley.

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