Banner Fire 65 percent contained

(CNS) - Firefighters estimate that a wildfire that has blackened about 4,100 acres east of Julian in the Anza-Borrego Desert would be contained Wednesday.

As of Saturday night, the blaze was about 65 percent contained, or surrounded, with 918 firefighters on the job, according to Cal Fire.

Cal Fire officials estimated the cost to suppress the fire at about $575,000.

Firefighters used seven water-dropping helicopters to quench the flames due to the difficult and inaccessible terrain.

The blaze, which has caused no known structural damage or injuries, started in the Cigarette Hills area of eastern San Diego County, near Banner Grade, Thursday afternoon. Within two hours, it had grown to more than 1,000 acres, driven by steady winds out of the west. The cause, if known, has not been disclosed.

Shortly after the fire started, authorities evacuated people from about 100 Shelter Valley homes in its path. Those residents were allowed to go home Thursday night. About 50 people at the Stage Coach Trails RV Resort at the south end of Shelter Valley were evacuated Friday afternoon but the order was lifted later that evening.

The fire also prompted authorities to close parts of state Route 78 and Route S2 at times, but both are reopened.

   
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