1 Firefighter Injured Battling 28-Acre Gopher Fire, 100% Contained - NBC 7 San Diego

1 Firefighter Injured Battling 28-Acre Gopher Fire, 100% Contained

The brush fire, dubbed the Gopher Fire, broke out at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday.



    Gopher Canyon Fire Update

    NBC 7's Chris Chan reports on the fire that broke out along Interstate 15 near Gopher Canyon Road. (Published Monday, Nov. 14, 2016)

    One firefighter was injured Sunday battling a 28-acre brush fire burning just off Interstate 15 near Gopher Canyon Road, now 100 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said.

    The fire shut down all northbound and southbound lanes for a period of time, creating miles of backup on the freeway. 

    Crews returned to the area Monday to watch for any flareups.

    Impatient Drivers Make Risky Moves During I-15 Fire ClosureImpatient Drivers Make Risky Moves During I-15 Fire Closure

    The closure of I-15 during the Gopher Fire caused some drivers to try dangerous and destructive maneuvers to escape traffic on the freeway during the firefight. NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala reports.
    (Published Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016)

    The brush fire, dubbed the Gopher Fire, broke out at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday off I-15 south when authorities first responded to reports of a brush fire, Cal Fire spokesman Isaac Sanchez said.

    For a period of time, eight homes were threatened by the spreading flames, but Cal Fire crews have since mitigated the threat. No residents were evacuated, though fire engines were at their homes in case the situation worsened, Sanchez said.

    One firefighter was taken to the hospital with a shoulder injury. He was evaluated and released.

    Witnesses reported seeing thick tunnels of smoke from miles away as they drove southbound on the freeway. 

    Both directions of I-15 and Old Highway 395 were closed for a portion of the afternoon as crews fought the fire.

    Cal Fire officials say the fire damaged power poles that support lines crossing the freeway.

    Three southbound lanes and all northbound lanes have since reopened after the power lines were inspected, Cal Fire officials said. Traffic was flowing as normal Monday morning. One lane near the fire was closed, according to Cal Fire officials.

    Sunday marked another hot day for San Diego County following a week of Santa Ana weather. Near the fire, it's in the mid-80s. 

    “It’s kind of the new normal that we’re experiencing around here in this county, fire season never ends," said Sanchez. "It's November and we’re sitting right around 90 degrees, and the brush hasn’t had a chance to recover like it normally would have with seasonal rains."

    Sanchez said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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