Crews stop spread of East County ‘Eclipse Fire’

CAMPO, Calif. -- A wildfire that scorched about 200 acres of brush in the southeastern reaches of San Diego County and threatened about 20 back-country homes was 40 percent contained Tuesday morning, fire officials said.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 2 p.m. Monday near the intersection of La Posta Road and state Route 94 in Campo, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

As the flames spread Monday afternoon amid gusty winds, low humidity levels and temperatures in the upper 80s, authorities cleared people out of about 20 homes and nearby Mountain Warfare Training Camp Michael Monsoor, setting up a shelter at Mountain Empire High School in Pine Valley.

But fire crews halted the spread of the flames by 5:30 p.m., and the evacuations were lifted soon after, Sanchez said. By 8 p.m., the blaze was holding at 200 acres and was 10 percent contained.

About 175 state, federal and local government firefighters were assigned to the blaze, Sanchez said. It was dubbed the Eclipse Fire in a nod to the astronomical event that transfixed the nation hours earlier.

Working overnight, firefighters were able to bring the blaze to 40 percent containment and keep it at 200 acres, Sanchez said.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.