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Campo brush fire fully contained

CAMPO, Calif. — A wildfire that blackened hundreds of open acres in the far southeastern reaches of San Diego County was 100 percent contained by Friday evening, fire officials said.

The back-country blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday off the 31000 block of state Route 94 in the Cameron Corners area of Campo, according to Cal Fire San Diego officials. It sent a thick column of brown-and-white smoke into the air near the U.S.-Mexico border and prompted two evacuation warnings that were later rescinded.

One firefighter sustained a minor injury Wednesday in the first few hours of the battle to corral the blaze, which had grown to 265 acres as of mid- afternoon Wednesday, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said. The so-called “Recycle Fire” was still holding at that size Friday morning.

About 90 minutes after it was first reported, the flames had blackened roughly 25 acres as crews worked to stop them from the ground and aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters, Sanchez said. As the blaze grew to over 250 acres, authorities issued evacuation warnings to residents along North Campo Truck Trail, and later, to people who living on La Posta Road. But those warnings were lifted just a few hours later.

As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, crews had the spread of the fire halted and its perimeter about 5 percent contained. It was at 15 percent containment Wednesday night, 30 percent Thursday morning and 65 percent Thursday evening.

Crews continued to work throughout the night Thursday into Friday morning, bringing the containment level up to 85 percent.

“Crews will continue with suppression repair efforts through the weekend,” Cal Fire San Diego tweeted late Friday afternoon.

The cause of the blaze — dubbed the Recycle Fire due to its proximity to a rural byway known to locals as “Recycle Road” — was not immediately clear, Sanchez said.