Del Cerro Brush Fire Forces Evacuations, Prompts I-8 Closure - NBC 7 San Diego

Del Cerro Brush Fire Forces Evacuations, Prompts I-8 Closure

On Monday, fire officials said the Del Cerro Fire was expected to be fully contained sometime today

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Clean Up After Del Cerro Brush Fire

    The Del Cerro brush fire is nearly put out, but not after it burned dangerously close to dozens of homes. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala is at the scene with more on the cause of the fire. (Published Monday, June 4, 2018)

    Flames from a canyon fire threatened homes and prompted evacuations and the closure of Interstate 8 Sunday near San Diego State University. 

    Two juveniles, a 12-year-old boy and girl, have been identified by investigators as using a lighter to set the Del Cerro Fire that scorched 38 acres, arson investigators said.

    By Monday afternoon, SDFD said the fire was 95 percent contained. They expect 100 percent containment by 6 p.m. 

    Because they are minors their names will not be released. 

    The fire started around 4:10 p.m. Sunday behind an apartment complex on Adobe Road, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD).

    Mo and Michelle Moore were watching television when they saw the smoke and flames in the canyon. 

    "I told her to start packing and I sprayed down the roof," Mo Moore said. 

    They had been through this before. In 2004, they packed up and prepared to evacuate when a fire threatened their home. 

    Their daughter was just a baby.

    Now, 14 years later, they stood and watched as a fire helicopter made water drops and worked quickly to contain the fire. 

    "We said our prayers and it's in God's hands," Michelle Moore said.

    Flames Threaten Homes Near San Diego State UniversityFlames Threaten Homes Near San Diego State University

    The arson strike team said homeless encampments and teenagers were seen nearby when the fire started.

    On Monday, metro arson strike team investigators had determined juveniles were "more than likely responsible" but details were not released, according to the SDFD spokesperson.

    Any criminal charges have not been announced. The spokesperson said juvenile fire starter cases are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

    About 80 homes were temporarily evacuated — 60 under mandatory evacuation and 20 voluntarily evacuated, fire officials said.

    Residents were allowed back into their homes around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the San Diego Police Department.

    Fire officials said the Del Cerro Fire was expected to be fully contained sometime Monday.

    Interstate 8 was closed in both directions for nearly two hours.

    Police reopened several lanes of westbound I-8 shortly before 6:50 p.m. Eastbound lanes were reopened around 6 p.m. 

    Northbound and southbound College Avenue at I-8 and Adobe Falls from Waring Road to College Avenue were also closed for a time.

    Del Cerro Fire Forces Evacuations, Stops Freeway TrafficDel Cerro Fire Forces Evacuations, Stops Freeway Traffic

    The fire is 85 percent contained. NBC 7's Mackenzie Maynard has the latest.

    (Published Monday, June 4, 2018)

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