A devastating brush fire that destroyed or damaged 30 homes and killed one man has scorched close to 3000 acres in San Diego's East County.
The so-called Shockey Fire has burned 2851 acres with 98 percent containment. Two firefighters were injured tuesday while fighting the flames, according to Cal Fire officials.( Mon Sep 24 21:26:17 PDT 2012 $__output )
By Wednesday night, Cal Fire confirmed a total of three firefighters were injured throughout the course of battling blaze.
Dozens of residents in Boulevard and Jewel Valley homes who were evacuated when the fire sparked Sunday can now return to their homes. Residents only can get into Tierra Del Sol Rd at 6:00 p.m. officials said.( Mon Sep 24 15:51:59 PDT 2012 $__output )
On Tuesday morning, firefighters were expecting temperatures about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. The forecast for the area includes sustained winds up to 13 mph with gusting between 20 and 25 mph.
“Things look better for firefighters today but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said NBC 7 meteorologist Greg Bledsoe.
An elderly man, first reported missing from his home in the Tierra del Sol neighborhood, was later found dead among the ashes.
"It made me sick all day," said neighbor Brent Hoffman. "Just couldn't get it out of my mind trying to think what's going on."
Neighbors say the man, who officials haven't identified until next of kin can be notified, was in his 80s and chose not to evacuate.
They say the man took pride in his home which was filled to the brim with nostalgic items.
"He had a lot of stories. He was quite a character," said Betty Orcutt.
"If I was him I'd probably feel the same way," she said. "'I'm going to stay here and fight til the very end.' So I can picture him doing that."
The fire has burned near the Shockey Truck Trail and the Campo Indian Reservation and is moving east, according to Cal Fire officials.
Thirty homes have been damaged or destroyed along with 15 outbuildings. As of Tuesday evening, the fire was threatening an additional 25 homes in the rural east county area, where many homes are vacant, said Cal Fire spokesperson Mike Moehler.
The road closure at Tierra Del Sol Road likely to remain closed throughout the day Tuesday officials said.
A Local Assistance Center with financial assistance, mental and physical care and guidance from local agencies was set up for victims at the Jacumba Library on Old Highway 80. The County said about two dozen governmental and nonprofit organizations will assist residents at the center.