Home Evacuation Lifted for Brush Fire Near Julian

Evacuations ordered, SigAlert issued but fire no longer actively spreading


Cal Fire organized a quick response to a brush fire near Julian that prompted the evacuation of approximately two dozen homes Friday.

The fire, sparked after a motorcycle accident near Farmers Road and Wynola Road burned around 15 acres and appeared to hold steady according to Cal Fire.

The motorcycle victim was transported to the hospital with unknown conditions.

After the initial call around 1:20 p.m., deputies advised residents to evacuate approximately 25 homes in the area near State Route 78 and Wynola Road, as well as a nearby campground.

Though most residents in the area were not in immediate danger, many felt the fire was still too close for comfort.

“Every time we hear about a fire anywhere in the county, sometimes even outside the county, we are definitely concerned about it,” Erin Hunt, General Manager of the California Wolf Center told NBC 7 San Diego.

Santa Ysabel resident Brad Wohl's home was destroyed in the Ramona fires back in 2007, so he's sensitive to any nearby blaze.

“It's horrible. Horrible feeling to have your house one minute, then the next minute, someone sends you a picture and it's burnt to the ground,” Wohl told NBC 7.

The U.S. Forest Service asked for backup and Cal Fire responded with 25 engines, eight fire crews, four air tankers, three helicopters, a water tender and a bulldozer.

Air tankers brought in several drops and just before 3 p.m. Cal Fire reported fire crews were making good progress. Capt. Mike Mohler told NBC 7 San Diego that the fire had appeared to stop spreading and said he didn't anticipate any further calls for evacuations.

Shortly after 4 p.m. the evacuation order was lifted and residents were allowed back in their homes. Highway 78 was also reopened.

One firefighter was injured during the incident, but it was not fire related.

The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert reporting that Wynola Road between Banner Grade and Farmers Road was closed until further notice.

An administrator at the nearby high school confirmed that smoke was visible from the school campus. Nothing is canceled at Julian Union High School. The staffer said bus schedules may be affected but no decision has been made yet.

Cal Fire crews will stay in place through the night monitoring the area.

On Saturday, fire officials will add 10 engines six hand crews to make sure the blaze is fully contained, especially since it’s so close to Camp Stevens, where visitors will be enjoying the weekend.

“In the back country a lot of the campgrounds have evacuation plans. They put in fuel breaks and do their 100 feet of defensible space. So in the back country we have a lot of residents and public work with us to help us help them,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Daryll Pina.

Cal Fire officials said the expected cool down in the weather this weekend should keep the brush fire threat relatively low. Still, firefighters are asking residents and campers to adhere to a no-burn policy.

By 10 a.m. Saturday, officials said the fire was 50-percent contained. Full containment was expected by Saturday night.

By 7 p.m. Saturday, officials confirmed the fire was 100-percent surrounded.

No structures have been damaged.

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