San Diego

200-Acre Campo Brush Fire Prompts Evacuations, Road Closures

Several nearby communities were evacuated, but all orders have since been lifted.

A 200-acre brush fire forced dozens out of their homes Monday as the flames inched closure to structures. The fire is now fully contained, and the forward rate of spread has been stopped. 

The fire, dubbed the Eclipse Fire because of the day it happened, broke out around 2 p.m. near Royal Willie Road and La Posta Road. 

At first, Cal Fire officials reported the fire at half an acre burning in light flash fuel, spreading slowly. 

However, within an hour, the flames had begun to spread. Shortly before 4 p.m., Cal Fire officials said the flames were threatening 20 structures. 

The flames moved at a moderate rate of spread in 98-degree weather with 18 percent humidity. 

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Mountain Warfare Training facility and La Posta Road from Royal Willie to La Posta Truck Trail. Advisory evacuations were in effect from La Posta Truck Trail to Old Hwy 80. The threat to Campo Indian Reservation has since ended.

"It looked like Armageddon. There were smoke, fire, and helicopters planes," evacuee Chad Seeman said.

Seeman told NBC 7, he had just returned from a two-week trip to Montana. During his stay, 13 fires had scorched parts of the state.

He said this was not the welcome home he would have wanted but is glad he had 100-foot defensible space around his property.

"We did that, and thankfully it’s paid off," Seeman said.

According to fire officials, 250 firefighters, 20 firetrucks, and air support stopped the fire's forward progress in about two hours. 

"Pretty textbook -- wind driven fire in addition to that, you have things like the topography the hills the fire burned through and the fuels that were receptive to burning," Cal Fire’s Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

All evacuation orders and advisories were lifted. 

California Highway Patrol officials closed La Posta Road and State Route 94, as well as La Posta Road and Old Highway 80.

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sanchez said 175 state, federal and local firefighters remained at the scene of the Eclipse Fire, establishing lines and working to advance containment. Sanchez said cooler weather and increased humidity overnight aided the efforts of the crews.

There has been no injuries or damage to any homes or structures. At this time, the cause of the fire is not known.

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