Wildfire prompts evacuations in East County

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SAN DIEGO — A wildfire blackened hundreds of acres in rugged, mountainous terrain east of Jamul Monday, Cal Fire reported.

The fire began shortly after 1 p.m. off of Lyons Valley Road and quickly spread up a steep rocky mountainside. A large plume of smoke could be seen rising behind Lyons Peak. Helicopter video showed flames up to 40 feet high burning though heavy chaparral on a steep mountainside.

Lyons Valley FireCal Fire helicopters and airplanes were dropping water and fire retardant in front of the flames in an attempt to slow the fire’s spread as ground crews began cutting containment lines around the blaze.

A Cal Fire  spokesman said no structures were immediately threatened and the fire was spreading at a moderate rate. As of 4 p.m., the fire had blackened about 225 acres.

The California Highway Patrol was evacuating homes east of the 19,000 block of Lyons Valley Road.

A temporary evacuation center has been set up at Jamul Primary School at 14,567 Lyons Valley Road near Skyline Truck Trail.

Another fire broke out at about the same time further east off state Route 94 in rural Potrero. That fire burned about five acres but did not damage any structures, according to Cal Fire. One resident suffered minor burns to his arms and legs, according to the fire agency.

Late this evening fire crews were mopping up hot spots, but active flames were hard to find.

“We will still be here throughout the evening, it just takes a bad gust of wind and we can be right back in it,” Said Cal fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser. “It’s laying down, but I’m not comfortable until this fire is 100 percent contained.”

Residents left the evacuation center and were headed thankfully headed home. ” I just want to say thank you to the fire fighters and all that they do,” said Janice Chesser. “I’m going home and to wait for the next one.”

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