2,135-acre San Diego County fire contained - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

2,135-acre San Diego County fire contained

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Photo courtesy of UCSD HPWREN Photo courtesy of UCSD HPWREN
Photo of the "Great Fire" courtesy of Your Stories submission by Justin Hersh, of University City. Photo of the "Great Fire" courtesy of Your Stories submission by Justin Hersh, of University City.

Acres burned: 2,135 acres
Containment: 2,135 acres - 100% contained
Location: South side of Highway 78 & Scissors Crossing, east of Julian near Shelter Valley
Start date: October 1, 2011 12:53 pm
Cause: Under investigation

All evacuation advisories have been lifted.

JULIAN, Calif. (AP) - Cooler weather has helped crews contain a nearly week-old wildfire that scorched more than 2,000 acres in San Diego County.

State fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler says the fire about five miles east of the town of Julian was fully surrounded Thursday morning.

The blaze that began Saturday hadn't moved much in recent days and the firefighting force had been reduced from 1,500 to about 500.

Schuler says cooler weather helped fire crews and there was a smattering of rain on Wednesday.

No homes were damaged by the blaze, which burned 2,135 acres of brush.

The cause remains under investigation.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. Read earlier versions below.


SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Crews laboring to fully extinguish a wildfire that blackened about 2,000 open acres east of Julian had the smoldering remnants of the conflagration about 85 percent surrounded by late Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze, dubbed the Great Fire, erupted about 1 p.m. Saturday on the south side of Highway 78 and Scissors Crossing, near Shelter Valley, according to Cal Fire.

Full containment of the burn area was expected Thursday, said Nick Schuler, a battalion chief for the state agency. Temperatures in the East County highlands have dropped as much as 15 degrees over the last several days, helping firefighters make faster progress, he noted.

The blaze has caused no reported injuries or structural damage, though about two dozen buildings at the edges of Mastro Trailer Ranch, east of Banner Grade, were threatened for a time over the weekend.

About 1,000 crew members were working on the fire lines this morning. Personnel and equipment continue to be called off as the suppression efforts make steady headway, Schuler said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. Read earlier versions below.

JULIAN, Calif. (AP) - Fire bosses say cooler, moist weather is helping firefighters battling a 2,000 acre wildfire in rural San Diego County.

The latest California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection report early Tuesday says the blaze five miles east of Julian is 75 percent surrounded, or contained.

Full containment is expected sometime Thursday.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler says there is no open flame and firefighters are slowly being demobilized. The firefighting force has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000.

Schuler says cooler weather is allowing faster progress on snuffing out hot spots. He says firefighters will be helped by a fall rainstorm expected Wednesday.

The fire has been burning since Saturday afternoon near Shelter Valley, an area south of State Route 78. The cause hasn't been determined.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. The previous story is below.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Crews working to quell a 2,000-acre wildfire in the East County highlands had the remote burn area roughly 60 percent contained by late Monday afternoon.

The so-called Great Fire, which erupted about 1 p.m. Saturday near Shelter Valley, east of Julian, was no longer spreading as of Monday morning,  according to Cal Fire.

Ground and airborne personnel were making steady progress in extinguishing the blaze, Nick Schuler, a battalion chief for the state agency, said Monday afternoon.

No injuries or structural damage have been reported, though about two dozen buildings at the edges of Mastro Trailer Ranch east of Banner Grade were threatened for a time over the weekend.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

On Sunday, the sheriff's department used a "reverse 911" automated telephone system to notify residents in several subdivisions east and south of Julian to get ready to evacuate. The alert remained in effect Monday.

"We are only advising people to leave right now, not ordering them. ... This is only an advisory, and the public should not panic," Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler said. "We are asking that these areas please be prepared if asked to leave and not wait until the last minute."

Affected locales included Whispering Pines and subdivisions along State Route 78 in the Banner Grade area.

Homes and businesses near historic Main Street in Julian were not included in the evacuation notification.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. The previous story is below.

JULIAN (CNS) - A 2,000-acre brush fire in the Julian area was 40 percent contained Monday, and the rural mountaintop resort remained open for business even as nearby residents were being told to be ready to move out, according to Cal Fire.

The so-called Great Fire started just before 1 p.m. Saturday on the south side of Highway 78 and Scissors Crossing, east of Julian and near Shelter Valley, Cal Fire reported.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the blaze was 40 percent contained and not spreading, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler.

On Sunday afternoon, sheriff's deputies used an automated telephone system called "reverse 911" to notify residents in several subdivisions east and south of Julian to get ready to evacuate. The advisory remained in effect Monday, according to Cal Fire.

"We are only advising people to leave right now, not ordering them," said Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler. The homes and businesses near historic Main Street in Julian were not included in the evacuation advisory.

"This is only an advisory and the public should not panic. We are asking that these areas please be prepared if asked to leave and not wait until the last minute," Mohler said.

Affected areas included the Whispering Pines and other subdivisions south of Julian and east of Highway 79, and subdivisions along Highway 78 in the Banner Grade area east of the Julian fire station.

The town of Julian, which thrives on tourism, was not affected, Schuler said, noting that shoppers were welcome to go there Monday.

No home or business losses in the affected areas have been reported but 25 structures at the edges of Mastro Trailer Ranch on Highway 78, east of Banner Grade, were threatened, according to Cal Fire.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

The stricken area is owned by California State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management.

Cal Fire reported that about 1,400 fire personnel were working to put out the blaze by ground and air.

Highway 78 between Wynola Road and Scissors Crossing was closed.

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