Brush fire burns at least 100 acres in rural East County, evacuations lifted

Local

SAN DIEGO — A burning vehicle sparked a fast-moving brush fire along the highway in rural East County Saturday, forcing some residents to temporarily evacuate.

The blaze, dubbed the “Road Fire,” had spread to 100 acres, but was 17% contained as of 5:30 p.m., Rickard said.

The wildfire began when a semi tanker caught fire at 11:20 a.m. on I-8 west of state Route 79 and flames spread to brush next to the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

By noon, the CHP reported that airdrops on the brush fire were being made and ground crews were running hose lines to get water on the flames.

Evacuations were ordered for parts of Descanso and the Viejas Reservation, but were later lifted once the forward rate of progress had been stopped, according to U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander Jaime Rickard.

“We have the forward rate of spread stopped so it’s holding at 100 acres. We have a lot of aircraft on it so it’s holding with retardant. We are making pretty good progress on both flanks of the fire,” Rickard said.

“Great work by air and ground resources on the #RoadFire,” the CNFS tweeted. “Forward spread has stopped.”

All lanes of Interstate 8 had been closed west of state Route 79 and Japatul Valley Road while crews battled the flames, but were reopened by 6:48 p.m.

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