Shockey Fire burns 2,000 acres in East County

Dozens of residents in southeastern San Diego County were
under mandatory evacuation orders Monday as hundreds of firefighters battled a
2,000-acre blaze that has destroyed at least 20 homes and damaged 10 others,
authorities said.

The so-called Shockey Fire broke out on Shockey Truck Trail and Highway
94 on the Campo Indian Reservation east of Campo around 12:15 p.m. Sunday,
according to Cal Fire. There were no immediate reports of injury, and the cause
of the fire was under investigation.

As of this morning, the blaze was 10 percent contained, according to the
state agency, which reported that 20 homes were destroyed and 10 others
damaged.

The fire also ravaged 15 outbuildings and damaged overhead power lines
in the area, knocking out power to 134 San Diego Gas & Electric customers
Sunday afternoon, the utility reported. The outage affected parts of Live Oak
Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba, according to SDG&E, which said power likely
would be restored this afternoon.

Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler said the weather was contributing to the
fire's growth. By early evening Sunday, temperatures were in the high 80s and
winds were blowing at around 20 miles per hour. Highs today were expected to be
slightly cooler but windy conditions were expected to persist.

Authorities from their command center at Golden Acorn Casino off
Interstate 8 began issuing mandatory evacuation orders around 2:30 p.m. Sunday
for residents of about 80 homes in the Tierra del Sol, Jewel Valley and
Boulevard areas.

The orders were delivered largely via the county's reverse 911 system,
which phones residents with instructions to leave their homes immediately.

Though the orders were “mandatory,” California law prohibits
authorities from forcing residents from their homes, even in an emergency. It
was unclear early today how many residents complied with the evacuation orders.

The Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at Mountain Empire High
School at 3305 Buckman Springs Road in Pine Valley. Classes at all Mountain
Empire School District campuses were closed today, said Paul Mallon, the
district's director of operations.

Agencies assisting Cal Fire in battling the blaze included the San Diego
County Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Forest Service and various Indian
reservation fire departments.

More than 300 firefighters, 57 fire engines, nine fire crews, six air
tankers, six helicopters, five bulldozers and nine water tenders were assigned
to the fire, Mohler said. There were also roughly two dozen sheriff's deputies
assisting firefighters, said San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan
Caldwell.

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