Evacuations lifted, highway reopens as crews make ‘great progress’ on wildfire


SAN DIEGO – Crews worked through the night and made “great progress” on the brush fire in rural northeast San Diego County that threatened homes and forced some residents to evacuate Saturday.

Evacuations were lifted for the fire in the community of Santa Ysabel, west of Julian, by Saturday evening and Caltrans announced that the highway had reopened in the area by Sunday morning. At that time, the blaze had burned 173 acres and was 41% contained, fire officials said. By 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the blaze was 76% contained.

A motor home initially caught fire on state Route 79 north of state Route 78 at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday and flames spread across the brush near the roadway, according to Cal Fire.

By Sunday morning, all air tankers were released or put on hold. No structures were damaged.

As the firefight lasted through the day, a department helicopter developed engine failure and safely made a precautionary landing, fire officials said.

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