Lightning-sparked fires threaten backcountry transmission line, reports CalFire
Approximately 560 firefighters battled four separate lightning-sparked blazes near Julian early Tueday.
The Vallecito Fire, the Wilson Fire, the Stewart Fire and the Cooper Fire have scorched a combined 1,002 acres of rural East County since Sunday night, according to CalFire.
The Vallecito Fire is burning southeast of Julian, while the three other fires were burning northeast of the town. As of early Tuesday, no structures were threatened, the state firefighting agency reported.
The Wilson Fire has burned the most brush — 1,400 acres — while the Vallecito Fire has scorched 350, the Stewart Fire 600 and the Cooper Fire, two acres, CalFire reported.
The Cooper Fire was fully contained early Tuesday, while the Vallecito was 30 percent contained, the Wilson Fire was 5 percent and the Stewart Fire was zero percent contained, according to CalFire, which dubbed the fires the Vallecito Lightning Complex.
“Firefighters continue to make progress, though there is still a considerable amount of open fire line,” said CalFire Capt. Mike Mohler. “Extreme terrain and distance from roads are making access to fires difficult for ground resources.”
Though no structures were threatened, Mohler said there was a threat to a 69-kilovolt transmission line in Grapevine Canyon that serves the communities of Borrego Springs, Warner Springs and Ranchita.
In addition to 565 fire personnel, 27 fire engines, 22 fire crews, two bulldozers, four helicopters and three airtankers were assigned to fight the Vallecito Lightning Complex.
All four fires were sparked by lightning, CalFire reported.
- Lightning fires spread through backcountry
- Lightning triggers fires in backcountry
- Firefighters battle 220-acre fire near Julian
- CalFire fighting two brush fires in county
- CalFire fighting 400-acre fire near Warner Springs
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