Gopher Fire 95 percent contained at 35 acres

DEER SPRINGS (KUSI) — Thursday 7 a.m. — The Gopher Fire burning in north San Diego County was 95 percent contained Thursday morning at 35 acres. All lanes of southbound Interstate 15 have been reopened. The fire burned alongside the freeway near Gopher Canyon Road, causing 

Tuesday 6:00 a.m. — Firefighters contained the Gopher Fire burning near Interstate 15 just north of Escondido to 60 percent overnight Wednesday.

Two fire crews remained at Gopher Canyon Road through the night to battle the blaze with four engines and one water tender. Crews were expected to stay throughout the day Wednesday. The fire had scorched a total of 35 acres.

Monday 5:23 p.m. — A pair of brush fires that blackened nearly three dozen open acres alongside Interstate 15 near Castle Creek Country Club were still smoldering Tuesday, but no structures were threatened.

The blazes erupted roughly a half-mile apart on the west side of the freeway in the Deer Springs area for unknown reasons about 3 p.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire, which updated the containment figure to 40 percent Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities shut down the southbound lanes of the interstate and directed the occupants of two nearby houses to evacuate as a precaution while ground crews and personnel aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters worked to subdue the flames.

The blazes, which moved to within about a quarter-mile of each other while scorching an estimated 35 combined acres, caused no reported structural damage or injuries, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

The cause of the fires remained under investigation late Tuesday afternoon.

Monday 9:00 a.m. — Fire crews battled a brush fire near Interstate 15 north of Escondido overnight, containing 25 percent of the blaze to 25 acres, but Caltrans kept one lane of I-15 closed Tuesday morning. 

Two brush fires broke out roughly a half-mile apart from each other about 3 p.m. on the west side of the freeway, near Gopher Canyon Road in Deer Springs, according to Cal Fire. Cal Fire has since deemed the two combined fires the Gopher Fire. A total of 120 firefighters from CalFire and local fire agencies battled the blaze Tuesday morning.

Traffic was being diverted from southbound I-15 onto Old Highway 395 for safety reasons Tuesday morning, according to CalTrans, causing major traffic delays for commuters. Traffic on southbound I-15 was backed up to the Rainbow Valley Blvd exit and on eastbound State Route 76 to Thoroughbred Lane. 

Evacuation orders were lifted for residents in the Gopher Canyon area at 10 p.m. Monday. Residents were evacuated when authorities deemed three houses in danger from the fires, according to Cal Fire. No structural damage or injuries have been reported.

Ground crews and personnel aboard five air tankers and four water-dropping helicopters worked Monday to control the flames, which blackened 20 acres within two hours, said Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the blazes.

Categories: Local San Diego News