Evacuations Lifted, Roads Reopened as Crews Stop Spread of Brush Fire in Santee

The brush fire started around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday near Chaparral Drive and Cuyamaca Street

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A brush fire sparked in a canyon in Santee Wednesday afternoon amid mild, gusty winds, and the flames moved close enough to homes for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to issue an evacuation notice for residents on two streets.

The "Chaparral Fire" began around 1:45 p.m. in vegetation near homes along the 10400 block of Chaparral Drive. The area is off Cuyamaca Street and west of Woodglen Vista Park.

The fire began in vegetation near homes along the 10400 block of Chaparral Drive in Santee.

An evacuation notice was in place at one point for residents along Princess Joann and Dakota Ranch roads, according to the SDSO. Deputies were going door to door notifying residents. A temporary evacuation center was set up at Santana High School.

At around 4 p.m., Cal Fire said the fire's forward spread had been stopped at 36 acres. Crews were expected to be on scene for several more hours until the fire is fully contained.

About 30 minutes later, the SDSO said evacuation notices had been lifted and roads closed due to the fire were back open.

No structure damage or injuries were reported.

"Everyone else in the area should be prepared to evacuate," the department tweeted.

Cal Fire San Diego said it is assisting the Santee Fire Department crews as they run point on the firefight.

SkyRanger 7 captured smoke rising from walls of flames as they tore through dry brush on hillsides. NBC 7 photojournalists captured air tankers and helicopters dumping hot pink retardant and water on the flames not far away from homes.

The sheriff's department deployed its ASTREA helicopter to make water drops over the flames.

NBC 7’s Ashley Matthews said Wednesday in the First Alert Forecast that, while temps were on the mild side, gusty winds were expected to continue over the next few days in San Diego’s foothills and mountains – elevating fire risk.

The National Weather Service San Diego said the temperature in Santee was 72 degrees at 2 p.m. Wednesday, with relative humidity at 12%.

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