Cal Fire investigates cause of Monday fire

Firefighters contained a fire in Barona in 100-degree heat Monday to 15 acres. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
Firefighters contained a fire in Barona in 100-degree heat Monday to 15 acres. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

The cause of a 15-acre wildfire that burned on both sides of Wildcat Canyon road north of Barona Casino in Lakeside Monday afternoon was still under investigation on Tuesday, reported Cal Fire.

Nick Schuler, Cal Fire battalion chief, said a rumor was circulating that the fire started at a shooting range on the reservation. Firefighters from multiple agencies, along with a helicopter and air tanker, responded to the brush fire that was reported around 3:15 p.m. The fire was contained at 15 acres and by 4:50 p.m. some engines were released.

Schuler there were no injuries and to his knowledge no structures were damaged or destroyed.

The brush fire was one of three in the county on Monday, he said, noting the others were in Deer Springs and San Miguel.

Compared to last year at this time there have been 200 more fires across the state, Schuler said. Contributing factors are dead and dying vegetation, higher than normal temperatures, and a variety of ignitions, he explained.

Schuler said the fire activity “that we’re seeing the first week of May is typically what we see late July or August.“

Noting that the Deer Springs brush fire on Monday was started by mowing in the heat, the battalion chief advised to avoid mowing in high temperatures. Those mowing should do so before 10 a.m. and should have a fire extinguisher or hose nearby. If a fire starts, call 911 immediately, said Schuler.

   
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