Multiple Spot Fires Burn 16 Acres Off I-8

The fires burned off Interstate 8 between east Willows and Japatul Valley roads in the Pine Valley area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Multiple spot fires scorched approximately 16 acres of brush off Interstate 8 in San Diego's East County Saturday. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala reports.

    Multiple spot fires scorched approximately 16 acres of brush off Interstate 8 in San Diego's East County Saturday morning, Cal Fire officials said.

    The fires began at around 10:45 a.m. near eastbound I-8 between east Willows and Japatul Valley roads in the Pine Valley area, close to the Cleveland National Forest.

    Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said crews were initially tackling at least three spot fires along the freeway. That turned into five small fires that ranged in acreage.

    By 11:10 a.m., officials had closed down one traffic lane on I-8 so fire crews would have more room to work. The lane was expected to be closed for at least two hours.

    At 11:15 a.m., Cal Fire officials said one of the spot fires had been knocked down, but crews were still working to battle the others.

    By 7 p.m., Wende Cornelius of Cleveland National Forest Fire said the fires were 100 percent contained, holding at about 16 acres. No structures were threatened.

    Cornelius said the fires sparked in rocky, dangerous terrain, which made the mission difficult for firefighters. Crews planned to spend the rest of the afternoon battling the fires and will continue working Sunday if needed.

    So far, nine crews and 180 firefighters have worked on these fires.

    Officials confirmed at least two of those firefighters were injured on duty. One firefighter sustained an ankle injury while another suffered heat exhaustion. Medics airlifted the firefighter suffering from heat exhaustion out of the area to a nearby ground ambulance.

    Meanwhile, the right lane on I-8 near the fire area remained closed Saturday evening. Authorities said the shoulder would also be blocked off through the night.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.
     

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