SAN DIEGO — San Diego County announced more evacuation warnings Sunday as the Valley Fire grew to 5,350 acres. The fire is now 1% contained, according to Cal Fire.
New evacuation warnings have been issued for the areas of SR94/Marron Valley Road and Lyons Valley Road areas out to Morena Reservoir. An evacuation warning means that evacuations are voluntary but everyone should prepare to evacuate if an order is issued.
Firefighters said at 3:45 p.m. that the fire is threatening structures in Carveacre, Lawson Valley, Wood Valley, Lyons Valley, Deer Horn Valley and the Sycuan Indian Reservation. Cal Fire later said the fire is not threatening structures at the Sycuan Indian Reservation at this time.
Firefighters faced a second day of scorching heat as they continued the battle against the fast-moving wildfire that destroyed homes and forced evacuations in the Japatul Valley area near Alpine Saturday.
As of 7 a.m. Sunday morning, Cal Fire officials said the blaze, dubbed the Valley Fire, had grown to 4,000 acres. The wildfire was 0% contained and 10 structures had been destroyed.
On Sunday morning, San Diego Gas & Electric reported power outages affecting 1,288 customers in the fire area. Officials also reported that there was an immediate threat to Sunrise Power 500 KV power lines, which supply a large portion of San Diego County’s electricity.
Hundreds of firefighters worked through the night against the blaze, and firefighting aircraft were able to take to the skies once again at dawn. “Firefighters are working against extreme fire behavior with wind- driven runs and long-range spotting,” the agency said.
Evacuations remained in place for the community of Carve Acre Sunday morning. Shortly before 1 p.m., a new order was issued for residents on Lyons Valley Road between Japatul and Honey Springs, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Lyndsay Winkley reports.
The San Diego County Emergency Site shared a map of the affected areas and also urged residents to register for evacuation alerts and get updated information at ReadySanDiego.org.
Residents were gathering at Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Road in Spring Valley, and Joan MacQueen Middle School, 2001 Tavern Road in Alpine, which reopened later Sunday afternoon after briefly closing down for lack of demand.
The evacuation centers were set up by the American Red Cross, which will supply water, snacks and other items. Pets were welcome.
The sheriff’s department said residents who need help keeping larger animals safe during evacuations could bring them to the County Animal Services South Shelter, located at 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita, and call San Diego Humane Society at 619-299-7012, then press 1 for more information.
The sheriff’s department also shared an updated list of road closures due to the blaze on Sunday morning:
Fire grew rapidly Saturday
The fire began about 3 p.m. off Spirit Trail and Japatul Road and was described early by Cal Fire officials as burning at a dangerous rate of spread and a medium threat to structures. It exploded quickly — growing about 500 acres in a single hour.
By evening, officials announced the blaze had grown to around 1,500 acres. Video from photojournalists on the front lines showed flames ripping through homes and other structures in the area.
“We do have confirmation that there have been homes, structures destroyed and damaged,” Capt. Kendal Bortisser with Cal Fire told FOX 5. When aircraft took off Sunday morning to survey the damage and rejoin the battle, Cal Fire released the 4,000-acre figure.
Plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around the county by Saturday evening.
Just before 10 p.m. Saturday, the Orange County Fire Authority announced it had dispatched a “strike team” of five fire engines and two battalion chiefs to assist their southern brethren, joining crews from the Cleveland National Forest and Cal Fire.
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