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Fire crews make progress on vegetation fire burning east of Ramona in Witch Creek

Crews stopped the spread of the Caesar Fire at 50 acres. Firefighters continued monitoring hot spots Monday evening.

SAN DIEGO —  A 50-acre brush fire broke out east of Ramona Monday and threatened structures in the area, but firefighters were able to halt its forward spread by early afternoon.

The blaze, dubbed the Caesar Fire, sparked about noon on the north side of state Route 78 near Ramona Trails Drive in the Witch Creek area.

At 1:30 p.m., Cal Fire stated that the forward rate of spread had been stopped.

There were no reports of injuries and no immediate information regarding whether any structures had been damaged.

A temporary evacuation point was set up at Olive Peirce Middle School at 1521 Hanson Lane, while an animal evacuation shelter opened at Ramona Rodeo Grounds at 421 Aqua Lane.

State Route 78 was closed in both directions from Magnolia Avenue to Southerland Dam Road. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department advised motorists to drive slowly for firefighters, sheriff's deputies and road crews working in the area.

Fire crews continued mopping up and monitoring hot spots Monday evening. The hot temperatures made life difficult for firefighters on the ground.

"We're used to the heat but typically we get a cooldown after a couple days. This week has been nonstop fire activity. It started with the Border Fire on Wednesday and just hasn't stopped. We were up in De Luz yesterday, out here in Ramona today," said Thomas Shoots, the public information officer for Cal Fire San Diego.

He said the heat can eventually take a toll on fire crews.

"They want to fight the good fight, help the residents out here, save lives, property and keep it form spreading but once these fires become more stable we're working hard to keep our firefighters safe, get them in shade, get them those breaks," Shoots said. 

That's why it's especially important for all of us to do our part in preventing fires. Shoots said the Caesar Fire sparked from a vehicle's hub cap that got too hot. As most wildfires are human-caused, officials encourage everyone to stay cautious and be prepared.

"Start simple start with the small things. Pull the junk away from the side of your house, get that firewood pile away from the side of your house. Just sit down with your kids and say we need to make a plan," he said.

He recommends removing dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters. In hot weather, he says it's best to use hand tools to avoid sparks from electric tools.

Create a plan to evacuate your home and different routes to get out of your neighborhood safely. Find more prevention and planning recommendations, here.

WATCH RELATED: Fire crews battle vegetation fire burning east of Ramona in Witch Creek (Sep. 2022).

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