Public Safety

CAL FIRE: Old Fire Stopped at 900 Acres, Full Containment Expected Tuesday


The Old Fire east of Campo remained at 907 acres Tuesday and was 75 percent contained, a CAL FIRE official said.

Firefighters on Tuesday continued to build the perimeter around the fire and mopped up hot spots in the interior, CAL FIRE spokesman Mike Mohler said. Full containment was expected Tuesday evening, he said.

Residents along Old Highway 80 who had been evacuated were allowed back home Tuesday afternoon, Mohler said. But residents along Church Road were still under an evacuation order.

“Church Road at Old Highway 80 and by the 94 is still closed, and residents cannot come back into the location until it is safe to do so,” Mohler said.

Mohler also urged all residents and travelers to use caution in the fire area, and watch out for fire equipment travelling along the roads.

At the fire’s peak Monday, about 800 firefighters attacked the fire on the ground with engines, water tenders, and bulldozers. Five water dropping helicopters and four air tankers were assigned to the blaze. The Sheriff’s helicopter ASTREA joined the effort. The Bell 375 Chopper is equipped with a 375 gallon tank in its belly.

On Sunday, shortly after the fire started, 150 structures were evacuated east of Old Highway 80, including homes and RVs. Twenty-five additional structures were threatened west of Church Road Monday morning, and deputies went door to door notifying residents of mandatory evacuations.

The fire destroyed two structures, a building and an RV, Mohler said.

Mohler said that most of the rural homes and RVs in the evacuation area were in compliance with the requirement to create a defensible space by clearing at least 100 feet of vegetation and other flammable material around the residence. This space buffered the structures from the fire and made it easier for firefighters to protect them, Mohler said.

“Defensible space did have an impact on a lot of these homes,” he said.

Besides CAL FIRE and the Sheriff’s Department, other agencies assisting on the fire included the San Diego County Fire Authority, the US Forest Service, the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Customers and Border Protection and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.     

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