Border Fire at 7,609 acres, 60% contained; all evacuation orders lifted

POTRERO (KUSI) — Friday 6:00 p.m. — Cal Fire reported Friday evening that the Border Fire was at 7,609 acres and was 60 percent contained.

Thursday 6:15 p.m. — All evacuation orders for the Border Fire were lifted at 6 p.m., according to Cal Fire. 

This included the communities of Potrero, Lake Morena and the surrounding areas. 

Cal Fire also reported that the fire has burned 7,358 acres and is 35 percent contained.

Cal Fire also released safety instructions for residents re-entering the area: 

There will be three traffic control points restricting access to the fire burn area.

  • Closure: Located approximately 1 ½ miles north of Highway 94 on Harris Ranch Road – allowing access to all residential locations on Harris Ranch Road.
  • Closure: Vollmer Road approximately ¼ mile north of Highway 94 at the Y intersection.
  • Closure: Martin Road approximately ¼ mile west of Highway 94 at the Y intersection. This closure will allow access to residents located on Martin Road.

SAFETY MESSAGE – The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation warnings or advisories. If you see electrical wires on the ground, stay clear and contact SDG&E immediately. Trees and poles with deep charring, particularly if still smoking, should be considered hazardous.

Please drive slowly as emergency personnel are in the area.

As you re-enter your property and evaluate damage, be aware that hazardous conditions may exist, particularly if a residence or out-building has burned. Hazards may include asbestos, heavy metals, by-products of plastic combustion and various other chemicals.

For additional information on returning home after a wildfire, go to

10:00 a.m. — A brush fire in Potrero had spread to 6,800 acres Thursday morning and was 20 percent contained as fire crews entered the fifth day of battling the blaze.

The Border Fire continued to threaten about 200 structures in the communities of Lake Morena Village, Campo and surrounding areas as the fire continued to move north and northeast.

More than 1,900 firefighters working from the ground and air had the burn area about 20 percent contained Thursday, but the blaze had leveled five homes and a dozen auxiliary buildings, left three firefighters with minor heat related ailments and forced the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail from the southern boundary of Cleveland National Forest to just south of Hauser Canyon.

Related Link: Family home of Iraq war hero destroyed by Border Fire

Most of the Portrero community was allowed to re-enter the area at 4 p.m.

“This is still a dynamic and active fire, residents in the surrounding area of the fire should continue to be prepared to evacuate if need be,” according to a Cal Fire statement.

The following evacuations remain in effect as of Thursday morning:

Forrest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch, Canyon City and Lake Morena. Campo and the greater Potrero community were under evacuation warning.

A makeshift shelter for those who remain displaced has been set up at Los Coches Creek Middle School on Dunbar Lane in Alpine.

Related Link: Support pours in for family, 55 donkeys threatened by Border Fire

Parts of Potrero Valley Road and Highway 94 remained closed. Due to the closure, Metropolitan Transit System officials modified Route 894 to only service the area between El Cajon and Tecate.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons late Sunday morning near state Route 94 and state Route 188 amid an extreme heat wave.

Related Link: Brush fire erupts in Potrero near border 

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. Service has mostly been restored, and crews expect a full restoration by 6 a.m. Friday.

Categories: Local San Diego News