West Fire fully contained

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ALPINE, Calif. — The charred burn area of an Alpine-area wildfire that gutted three dozen homes and 29 other structures last week was fully contained Tuesday as the county Board of Supervisors voted to extend a declaration of emergency in the aftermath of the 504-acre blaze.

The disastrous blaze, dubbed the West Fire, erupted amid a searing heat wave late Friday morning on the south side of Interstate 8 near Willows Road in Cleveland National Forest and quickly spread to nearby residential neighborhoods.

“We had structures on fire within the first about eight minutes of the fire burning,” local Cal Fire Capt. Tony Mecham told the supervisors.

At the height of the blaze, 90 percent of San Diego County Fire Authority and local Cal Fire crews were deployed to fight the flames, which also damaged 18 homes and two accessory buildings.

A shelter set up by the American Red Cross served 91 people displaced by the fire. Additionally, the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds hosted 10 horses, three goats and three alpacas displaced by the blaze.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Cal Fire announced that the smoldering burn area of the blaze had been fully surrounded.

Though the fire has been extinguished, crews will remain at the site through the upcoming weekend to watch for and douse any flare-ups that might occur, Mecham said.

County officials have set up an assistance center at the Alpine Library to help those affected by the fire navigate their recovery and rebuilding processes.

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