Santa Ana winds keep firefighters on alert

With strong Santa Ana winds predicted for Tuesday, firefighters planned periodic checks of a home in San Diego Country Estates where a fire occurred late Monday night, said Cal Fire Capt. David Hypes with the Ramona Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to the fire at 17252 Acanto Road at 11:03 p.m. Dec. 8 after the woman of the house, who had arrived home about a half-hour earlier, smelled smoke. The woman and her teenage daughter were awake and her husband and 10-year-old son were asleep. All  evacuated the home safely.

The fire, which started in the garage, had lapped up into the master bedroom and the area was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. They stopped the spread of the fire and were able to get two cats and a Yorkie dog out of the house, said Hypes. One cat remained missing Tuesday morning.

Engines from stations 80 and 81 in Ramona, Intermountain Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and  Witch Creek Cal Fire responded to the fire. Engine 27 from Barona covered Station 80 in the event of a fire elsewhere in town, said Hypes.

Firefighters were at the scene from 11:10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., said Hypes, explaining “we knew the winds were coming.” They pulled everything out of the garage.

The fire most likely started in the dryer in the garage and caused about $75,000 to $100,000 damage, said Hypes.

The fire call came a half-hour after firefighters had finished a 2-1/2 hour night structure fire drill, commented Hypes.

Fire crews planned hot spot checks in the area on Tuesday, when the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory of moderate to strong Santa Ana winds through the evening. The wind advisory, scheduled to be in effect until 10 p.m. Dec. 9, was for northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph were forecast for Tuesday.

   
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