4 Brush Fires Burn Near Julian

Lightning caused three fires burning near Julian officials said

By R. Stickney and Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012  |  Updated 6:51 AM PDT
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Update: Fires Burn Around San Diego County

An update on the brush fires burning around San Diego County on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. NBC 7's Catherine Garcia reports.
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Four brush fires have scorched more than almost 6,000 acres near Julian, forcing evacuations for residents in the rural area, Cal Fire authorities announced Tuesday night.

The largest of the four fires is now the Wilson Fire, which grew from 1,400 acres in the evening to 3,600 acres at night. The fire is just 5 percent contained as of Tuesday night. Lightning sparked the fire near the Community of Vallecito off of Mason Valley Truck Trail.

The Stewart Fire, has burned 1,800 acres and in the same area as the Wilson Fire. Crews still have no containment of this fire as of Tuesday night. The fire is burning east of Highway 78 and south of Grapevine Canyon. 

The Stewart Fire and the Wilson Fire together led to the forced evacuation of residents in the small town of Ranchita.

The two fires are expected to merge overnight and expand as thunderstorms bring more lightning and wind.

The Vallecito Fire which started around 8 p.m. Sunday near the Mason Valley Truck Trail has burned a total of 519 acres and is now 100-percent contained, as of Tuesday night. Lightning also sparked this fire located east of Highway 79 north of Anza Borrego State Park.

A small 3-acre fire called the "Cooper Fire" is 100 percent contained. It is located near Scissors Crossing northeast of Julian.

The cost to suppress the fire is estimated at just under $2 million as of Tuesday night. Two firefighters have been injured so far.

There is a threat to electrical lines that serve Borrego Springs, Warner Springs and Ranchita according to Cal Fire.

Crews are working in rough terrain with limited access by paved or even dirt roads.

Residents who need more information can contact the Vallecito Lightning Complex Information Line at (619) 590-3160, or go to www.fire.ca.gov.

On Monday afternoon, lightning strikes were captured on video at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. People living in the area told NBC 7 they are always prepared for this type of weather.

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