Car crash turned fire burns 1,500+ acres near Jacumba

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What to Know: McCain Fire

  • The fire has burned 1,595 acres; 95% containment
  • Evacuation orders, warnings and road closures have been lifted
  • Firefighters remain in the area monitoring any more hotspots

Evacuations warnings and road closures in Boulevard were lifted Wednesday afternoon after a vehicle crash sparked a brush fire, which burned nearly 1,600 acres in east San Diego County, fire officials said.

The "McCain Fire" broke out Monday after a traffic collision near Interstate 8 and McCain Valley Road near Jacumba at around 3:30 p.m.

A 48-year-old man was driving a Toyota SUV westbound on I-8 when he lost control, according to the California Highway Patrol. His car flipped over and burst into flames, which then spread to nearby vegetation, CHP logs say. Investigators said the driver suffered head injuries but is expected to survive.

The blaze was recorded at 1,595 acres and 95% containment Saturday morning, Cal Fire San Diego said. "While smoke may be visible from the freeway, these smokes are well within the fire perimeter and do not pose a threat," the agency wrote on X (formerly known as twitter).

The agency added that would be the last update unless conditions change.

Cal Fire aerial support drop retardant on the McCain fire burning near Jacumba on July 2, 2024. (NBC 7 San Diego)

The De Anza Springs Resort, an RV campground, was evacuated in the wake of the fire. The blaze was burning away from the resort by Tuesday, and the evacuation order was lifted by the afternoon, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

By about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, evacuation warnings and road closures in Boulevard were also lifted, according to the sheriff's department.

SDSO said to drive with caution since crews will continue to contain the fire and put out any remaining hot spots. You may continue to hear noise and see dust and smoke, but there is no immediate threat, the sheriff's department said.

However, the sheriff's department asks people to call 911 right away if they see any flare-ups.

A designated shelter was located at the Golden Acorn Casino but was closed early Wednesday.

A Red Cross team member said they had about six families in their care Monday but that they were expecting more.

All lanes of westbound I-8 west of Carrizo Gorge were closed following the crash and fire, Caltrans San Diego said in an X post. By 10:20 p.m. on Monday, the left lane had reopened.

A smoke advisory was issued over the extreme southeast part of San Diego County, which includes east of Boulevard and north of Titus, according to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.

More than 220 personnel were aiding with the firefight, with some crews traveling from Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Cal Fire San Diego said 14 engines, 4 helicopters, 2 dozers and 2 water tenders and several air tankers from across the state were being utilized.

Other than the injured driver, no fire-related injuries or damages have been reported.

No other details were immediately available.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information arrives.

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