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McCain Fire near Jacumba chars 1,000 acres

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Updates will be added as more information becomes available.

Firefighters continued working Tuesday to subdue a wildfire that has spread over about 1,000 open acres in the rural southeastern reaches of San Diego County, threatening back-country neighborhoods and cultural relics while forcing hundreds of people from their homes.

The blaze erupted at about 3:30 p.m. Monday when a car overturned and caught fire on Interstate 8 near McCain Valley Road in Boulevard, north of Jacumba Hot Springs, according to Cal Fire.

The flames spread into rugged, rocky, brush-covered terrain on the north side of the freeway, moving toward nearby De Anza Springs Resort, said Mike Cornette, a fire captain with the state agency.


As firefighters battled the blaze on the ground and aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters, authorities closed the westbound lanes of the freeway in the area and cleared a total of 144 people out of threatened homes, most of them on the grounds of the Carrizo Gorge Road resort, Cornette said. A temporary shelter for the evacuees was in operation at Golden Acorn Casino in Campo.

The evacuation order for De Anza Resort was lifted Tuesday afternoon, according to the San Diego Sheriff's department.

As of late Tuesday morning, the fire was about 5% contained and had caused no reported structural damage, though it had moved to within less than a mile of some residences.

The only known injuries stemming from the emergency were suffered by the motorist involved in the crash that sparked the blaze. Medics took that person to a hospital for treatment of moderately serious trauma, Cornette said.

The fire prompted a smoke advisory for the southeastern reaches of the San Diego area, the county Air Pollution Control District advised.


Among the threats posed by the conflagration involved potential damage to historic and culturally significant Native American artifacts, including wall art, according to Cal Fire. It remained unclear Tuesday whether any of the antiquities had been harmed by the blaze, Cornette said.

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