Crews are responding to the Miller Fire in Valley Center
VALLEY CENTER (KUSI) – A wind-driven wildfire swept through a rural neighborhood in Valley Center Friday, charring about three dozen acres and destroying a house while forcing residents to flee the advancing flames.
The blaze broke out for unknown reasons about 1 p.m. amid hot, arid and gusty Santa Ana conditions in the area of Cole Grade Road and Miller Lane, about three miles west of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, according to Cal Fire.
Within 90 minutes, the flames had scorched about 10 acres as crews battled the flames on the ground and aboard firefighting helicopters and airplanes, the state agency reported.
The blaze, dubbed the “Miller Fire,” destroyed one home and three outbuildings while spreading through heavy vegetation between residences south of Valley Center High School, officials said.
By late afternoon, firefighters had halted the spread of the blaze at roughly 37 acres and had the burn area about 20% contained.
As crews worked to corral the flames, deputies cleared residents out of homes on various roads in the area, including Ava Lane, Cole Grade Road, Cole Grade Lane, Cool Valley Road, Coyote Run, Little Quail Run, Puma Trail, Saddleback Road, Villa Sierra Road and Wilhite Lane.
Authorities also closed Cole Grade Road to through-traffic at Miller Lane, Oak Glen Place and Valley Center Road.
By about 7:45 p.m., evacuation orders remained in effect for all of Terrace View Lane, the area west of Cool Valley Highlands Road, and the area north of Puma Trail.
An evacuation center for those displaced by the fire was established at Valley Center Community Hall, 28246 Lilac Road. That shelter was closed when the American Red Cross opened a shelter about 9 p.m. at 28102 N. Lake Wohlford Road in Valley Center.
The blaze erupted shortly after crews halted the spread of a fast- moving wildfire that scorched nearly 100 open acres east of Ramona. That blaze was 52% contained as of 5:40 p.m., according to Cal Fire.