Sawday Fire burning in Ramona south of Hwy 78
RAMONA (KUSI) – A fast-moving wildfire blackened nearly 100 open acres between Ramona and Santa Ysabel Friday, prompting evacuations as ground and airborne crews hastened to subdue the wind-whipped flames.
The blaze erupted shortly before 9:30 a.m. amid unseasonable heat and gusty Santa Ana conditions near Sawday Truck Trail and Littlepage Road, south of state Route 78 in the unincorporated Ballena community, according to Cal Fire.
The fire remains 97 acres and is now 52 percent contained. All evacuation orders and road closures have been lifted.
At midday, crews were making good progress toward subduing the fire, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Nick Schuler told reporters.
As of 1 p.m., firefighters had the spread of the blaze, dubbed the “Sawday Fire,” halted at about 97 acres, and had the smoldering burn area roughly 15 percent contained.
No structural damage or injuries were reported.
While crews worked to corral the blaze, deputies evacuated residents along Creek Hollow Drive, Creek Hollow Road, Littlepage Lane, Littlepage Road, Old Julian Highway and Sawday Truck Trail.
As a public-safety precaution and to clear the area for firefighters, authorities shut down eastbound SR-78 from Third Street in Ramona to Old Julian Highway. The latter road also was shut down to all through-traffic between the state highway and Swan Road, and open to residents only from Swan Road to Vista Ramona Road, the county Department of Public Works advised.
A temporary shelter for the evacuees was set up at the Ramona Rodeo Grounds, 421 Aqua Lane.