Update: The Old Fire is now 907 acres and still 30 percent contained, reports Cal Fire. Firefighters are making good progress with the fire, but the winds have increased, which could cause problems, said Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik. They are continuing to patrol the fire and mopping up hot spots.
**** Nearly 500 firefighters are battling an 820-acre brush fire that destroyed one home and threatened more than 200 others east of Campo, and hundreds of residents are waiting to learn the fate of the homes they have evacuated. The fire, dubbed the Old Fire, broke out off Old Highway 80 east of Miller Valley Road about 2 p.m. Sunday and was 30 percent contained as of 7 a.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire. The agency estimates the blaze will be fully contained by Tuesday night. Cal Fire reported that one home and one outbuilding were destroyed, while the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department described the losses as a structure and a travel trailer. The Sheriff’s Department used a reverse 911 system to evacuate about 150 residences on Sunday. After daybreak this morning, additional evacuation orders were issued for residents living in Live Oak Springs and Boulevard. An evacuation center and command center for emergency personnel was set up at Golden Acorn Casino, according to the Sheriff’s Department. No injuries have been reported. Jacumba and Clover Flat elementary schools were closed Monday as a precaution, according to the Mountain Empire Unified School District. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Cal Fire has 489 fire personnel, 62 engines, 19 fire crews, four air tankers, five helicopters, seven bulldozers and five water tenders assigned to the Old Fire, according to the agency’s website. Weather conditions are expected to shift later Monday, increasing the burden on firefighters. At noon, a red flag warning is scheduled to go in effect in the mountains and deserts. The National Weather Service issues a red flag warning when strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures combine to create wildfire conditions. Because of the fire, eastbound Highway 94 was closed at Church Road as of 8:30 a.m., and Old Highway 80 was closed at Crestwood Road and Sierra Del Sol. Another fire also broke out around 4 p.m. Sunday in the 15000 block of Woods Valley Road in Valley Center, the Sheriff’s Department reported. Firefighters extinguished the fire, and there were no injuries, road closures or evacuations. A 12-acre fire that broke out just after noon Sunday in the 1800 block of Potrero Road in Tecate was 70 percent contained as of Sunday night and was being allowed to burn out, according to the Sheriff’s Department. There were no road closures, no evacuations and no injuries associated with the fire.
—City News Service