Border Fire burns 6,723 acres, 20% containment, 5 destroyed homes

POTRERO (KUSI) — Wednesday 6:30 p.m. — Cal Fire is still working on the official fact sheet for the Border Fire, but as of 6:30 p.m., these are the current numbers:

Acres: 6,723
Containment: 20%
Homes Destroyed: 5
Other Structures Destroyed: 12
Firefighters Assigned to the Incident: 1,907

 4:45 p.m. —  The following Evacuation Order for greater Potrero community were lifted at 4:00 p.m. with access for residents only.

At 6:00 p.m., access will be open to the general public.  

The following is the affected area where the evacuation order will be lifted:

  • west of Potrero Valley Road at Potrero Valley,
  • west of the General Store located at 25125 Highway 94, including both north and south sides of Highway 94.

Also included is the Potrero County Park. Only residents affected within this area, with proper identification, will be allowed back in. All other Evacuation Orders and Warnings will remain in effect.

Road closures that will remain or are new:

  • Highway 94  at Highway 188 will have a road closure to verify residence until 6:00PM
  • Potrero Valley Road at Potrero Valley (new)
  • Highway 94 just west of 25140 Highway 94.(new)
  • Highway 94 west of Buckman Springs Road (existing)
  • Buckman Springs Road at Old Buckman Springs (existing)

6:20 a.m. — Cal Fire made progress on the Border Fire in that broke out near Potrero Sunday. The blaze has been 15 percent contained at an acreage of 6500 feet, Cal Fire reported Wednesday morning. 

Tuesday 7:30 p.m.  Cal Fire reports that the Border Fire has been mapped at 6,020 acres and is 10 percent contained.

1,550 firefighters are currently working to battle the flames.

4:34 p.m.  The Border Fire prompted road closures at the following areas, according to California Highway Patrol: 

  • 94 at Buckman Springs Road
  • SR-188 at HW-94
  • FOREST GATE at HW-94
  • Lake Morena Road at Buckman Springs Road
  • Oak at Buckman Springs Road
  • Old Buckman Road at Buckman Springs Road

3:15 p.m. — New evacuation were ordered Tuesday for the Community of Lake Morena Village, NW of Campo.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department released the following statement regarding the Border Fire and evacuations:

"The Border Fire has prompted new evacuations. An AlertSanDiego message just went out to the community of Lake Morena Village, northwest of Campo. Specifically, a two-mile radius around Lake Morena Drive and Oak Drive west of Buckman Springs Road.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School located at 9669 Dunbar Lane in unincorporated El Cajon (Blossom Valley) near Alpine. 37 people stayed at the shelter overnight. Mountain Empire Unified Schools are closed today.

At last check, CAL FIRE says the fire has grown to 7,500 acres since it started at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 19th on State Route 94 and Highway 188 on steep terrain.

Nearly 50 deputies are helping with security patrols and traffic control in evacuated and fire areas. In the air, two ASTREA Bell 205 fire/rescue helicopters are making water drops. The helicopters are equipped with 375 gallon belly tanks.

Large animals can be taken to:

  • Circle T Ranch at 24215 Viejas Grade Road, Descanso. Owners must care for their animals’ needs while at the ranch. (San Diego Humane Society)
  • U.S. Border Patrol Boulevard Station at 2463 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard (County Department of Animal Services) State Route 94 is closed from Highway 188/Tecate Road to Forrest Gate Road.

For additional information on the fire, call 2-1-1. For emergencies, call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200. You can sign up to receive AlertSanDiego messages at www.sdcountyemergency.com."

Displaced residents in need of a place to wait out the fire were advised to take refuge in a makeshift shelter at Los Coches Creek Middle School on Dunbar Lane in Alpine. Those with livestock were given the option of taking their animals to Circle T Ranch on Viejas Grade Road in Descanso or to a Border Patrol station on Ribbonwood Road in Boulevard.

State Route 94 was blocked off from state SR-188 to Mountain Empire RV Park until further notice. Due to the closure, Metropolitan Transit System officials modified Route 894 to only service the area between El Cajon and Tecate.

The blaze also caused power outages that at one point affected more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Potrero and the nearby communities of Campo and Dulzura, according to San Diego Gas & Electric.

The blaze also caused power outages that at one point affected more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Potrero and the nearby communities of Campo and Dulzura, according to San Diego Gas & Electric.

About 275 addresses remained without power Wednesday, SDG&E reported. Service was expected to be restored to all the affected areas by midday Wednesday.

Monday 6:25 p.m. — The Border Fire has burned 7,500 acres, with 5 percent containment, according to Cal Fire San Diego.

Evacuations are still in effect. 

1:30 p.m.  The areas under mandatory evacuations include Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch and Canyon City.

There is an advisory evacuation for Lake Morena.

8:20 a.m. — The wildfire burning near the Tecate border grew to 1,900 acres Monday morning and was four percent contained, according to Cal Fire as about 250 firefighters worked to hold back the blaze. 

Since sparking around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the blaze has burned through four outbuildings and caused three injuries — two heat-related and one knee injury, according to Cal Fire. It also caused a power outage that affected nearly 200 homes and businesses in the Potrero area as well as neighboring communities of Camp and Dulzura, according to San Diego Gas & Electric. Service was expected to be fully restored by noon. 

Campo Community Center, Campo Elementary School and Dulzura Community Center have been opened as temporary evacuation centers for residents of the Potrero community. The evacuation went into effect Sunday evening and remained in effect Monday. 

Evacuated residents with large animals can take them to the Circle T Ranch, 24215 Viejas Grade Road in Descanso, or the Border Patrol station at 2463 Ribbonwood Road in Boulevard, according to the sheriff’s department.

State route 94 is closed from state Route 188 to the Mountain Empire RV Park, authorities said. Due to the closure, the Metropolitan Transit Service has modified route 894 to only service the area between El Cajon and the Tecate Border.

Classes at schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District were suspended Monday due to the fire, according to district officials. 

Sunday 4:10 p.m. — A brush fire near the Tecate border that began as a two-acre blaze has expanded up to 200 acres, Cal Fire announced. Evacuation orders have been placed for those in the Community of Potrero. The shelter for residents is located at Campo Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road, Campo.

Road closures are also in effect as firefighters work to control the fire. Westbound state Route 94 is closed at Canyon City, while eastbound state Route 94 is shut down at state Route 188. 

2:10 p.m. — A brush fire that was first reported as a two-acre blaze along the border between the U.S. and Mexico near Tecate has quickly expanded to 50 acres, Cal Fire San Diego reports. The fire is located off Highway 188 and Highway 94, with a start time of approximately 11:30 a.m.

The fire has since jumped Highway 94, moving northwest and potentially threatening structures. 

More information on this story as it develops. 

Categories: Local San Diego News