Southern Fire reaches 65% containment


SAN DIEGO — The Southern Fire is now 65% contained with firefighters continuing to work through the day and night to make progress on the blaze.

The wildfire in rural East County grew to 5,184 acres after sparking on Great Southern Overland Saturday evening. Containment had grown from 55% to 65% as of Tuesday morning.

Cal Fire said firefighters have been working through the day and night to control the fire. Three homes and two buildings were destroyed this weekend.

Eddie Valenzuela, Priscilla Flores and their kids escaped their property when they saw smoke quickly approaching. FOX 5 talked with them as they left an El Centro motel Monday after mandatory evacuation orders for the Butterfield Ranch community were lifted. A family member sent photos showing their home gutted by flames.

“I’m looking at it, like, there’s nothing. Not even my stove is there, not even the frame of our washer is there,” Flores said.

The American Red Cross said it was initially providing emergency housing, meals and other services to 120 evacuees and the San Diego Humane Society helped the county’s animal services team evacuate animals from the area.

Authorities have not released a suspected cause of the fire.

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