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Fire prompts evacuations, road closures near Potrero

Union Tribune (2007-10-21) Mark Arner

This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M208
Media Link: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20071021-1245-bn21fire.html
More Info: Harris Ranch Fire

By Mark Arner

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

2:45 p.m. October 21, 2007

POTRERO – A brush fire that began about 9:30 a.m. Sunday in a rugged, mountainous area 70 miles east of San Diego spread to more than 100 acres in two hours and was heading west fueled by 35 mph Santa Ana winds. It also prompted evacuations of more than 100 homes near Potrero.

More than 300 firefighters were fighting the fire from the land and air, with five air tanker planes, five helicopters and 45 engines, said Roxanne Provaznik, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – Cal Fire.

Four firefighters were injured when their engine was engulfed by flames from the Harris Fire, Cal Fire officials reported just before 2 p.m. The location and time of the incident was not immediately available. Officials said the victims were being flown to the UCSD burn center in Hillcrest.

The incident may be related to a report about 1 p.m. by the California Highway Patrol that they had lost radio contact with one fire crew.

A second brush fire was reported shortly after 12:30 p.m. in Witch Creek, a rural community several miles west of Santa Ysabel on state Route 78, Cal Fire officials said. The blaze had spread to more than 100 acres on both sides of Route 78 by 1:40 p.m.

Residents of homes near Witch Creek were being ordered to evacuate and the cause of the fire was being investigated.

In the meantime, the Harris Fire near Potrero crossed state Route 188 shortly after 1 p.m. and a shelter for evacuees was set up at Steele Canyon High School on Route 94, about two miles west of Steele Canyon Road.

Crews from County Animal Services were responding to the Steele Canyon High School shelter, and the San Diego Humane Society was arranging to receive large animals in fields near the Jamul Fire Station.

County officials have begun posting fire updates for the public at www.sdcountyemergency.com.

Residents were being asked to call 211 for all non-emergency calls related to this fire. If the call is initiated from a cell phone, 211 can be reached at 858-300-1211. The fire was intially reported at 9:26 a.m. east of Harris Ranch Road, north of state Route 94. Its cause was under investigation.

By noon the fire had crossed to the southern side of 94 near the Potrero Post office.

At noon, the blaze had destroyed one structure, Cal Fire officials said. Evacuations had been ordered of homes and other structures on Potrero Park Road to the south, and north of state Route 94, west of Harris Ranch Road and east of Potrero Valley Road. Route 94 has been closed between Forest Gate Road and state Route 188.

At 12:45 p.m., Cal Fire officials reported the fire had burned more than 500 acres, was threatening homes near Tecate and had become well established on the south side of Hwy 94. Sheriff's officials were ordering evacuations of homes along Emery Road, and were preparing to shelter-in-place the Tecate area.

A woman in the area reported that winds were erratic and gusting up to 60 mph.

Media Form edit

Title Fire prompts evacuations, road closures near Potrero
Publisher Union Tribune
Author Mark Arner
Pub Date 2007-10-21
Media Link http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20071021-1245-bn21fire.html
Note See Also Blackwater Potrero
Keywords Harris Ranch Fire
Media Type Linked Article
Book ISBN
Author Name Sortable Arner, Mark
Topic revision: r2 - 2008-05-07, RaymondLutz
 

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