Crews make ‘excellent progress’ in fight against West Fire

SAN DIEGO -- Cal Fire announced Sunday they were making 'great progress' for the West Fire that ripped through the Alpine community.

The West Fire destroyed 34 homes and damaged 15 others. Cal Fire also announced 21 accessory buildings were destroyed, 5 accessory buildings were damaged and one commercial building also fell victim to the flames.

The 505-acre fire is now 92-percent contained and all evacuation orders and road closures were lifted.

The fire in Alpine remained 81-percent contained and an update would be available 6 p.m. Sunday, Cal Fire announced.

The blaze destroyed 18 structures and damaged eight more Friday.

 

 

Firefighters dealt with extreme heat, but nearly calm winds, as the battle continued early Saturday. At 8 a.m., it was 98 degrees in Alpine, with a forecast high of 99 and worries that winds could gust as high as 20 miles per hour later in the day.

The estimated size of the blaze, dubbed the "West Fire," was adjusted to more than 500 acres Saturday, according to CalFire officials.

One crew member suffered minor burn injuries to his face while battling the blaze, and was expected to remain hospitalized overnight, Cal Fire reported. No other injuries were reported.

Officials updated evacuation orders Saturday morning, and then again in the afternoon. Some evacuation orders were lifted, while others were changed to warnings:

At the height of the blaze, about 3,500 homes and businesses at and around the site of the wildfire were without power, according to San Diego Gas & Electric. Some of those addresses are served by a circuit that the utility decided to deactivate as a precaution, and the rest lost service due to fire-related equipment damage, SDG&E spokesman Wes Jones said.

Power was restored by Saturday afternoon.

In the late afternoon, the governor's office announced the issuance of an emergency proclamation for the San Diego area "due to the effects of the West Fire." The gubernatorial decree clears the way for the state to provide immediate disaster assistance to the county, allows for expedited unemployment benefits for anyone who lost a job due to the blaze and waives fees for replacement of documents -- including birth certificates, marriage licenses and vehicle titles -- lost to the flames.