Crews laboring to contain an arson fire that has scorched 22 square miles of mountainous back country between Warner Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park over the last week had the task 95 percent complete by early Friday evening.
Firefighters spent the day dousing hot spots and completing fire breaks around the smoldering remains of the 14,100-acre Eagle Fire, which left 18 personnel with minor injuries and destroyed an outbuilding since it erupted in the rugged northeastern reaches of San Diego County.
Crews expect to have the burn area fully surrounded by sometime Saturday, Calfire Capt. Mike Smith said.
Someone intentionally ignited the blaze off Eagles Nest Road and Camino San Ignacio late on the night of July 21, according to the state agency.
Officials have declined to release further information about the origin of the fire, pending completion of their investigation into the crime.
The cost of suppressing the conflagration, which spread throughout Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and extended into desert terrain to the northeast, has reached about $13 million, Cal Fire reported.
The agency began releasing some of its firefighters as full containment neared. About 1,400 personnel remained on the lines as of Friday morning. Earlier this week, more than 2,100 local, state and federal personnel were deployed, including crews aboard numerous water- and retardant-dropping aircraft.
Lost Valley Boy Scout Camp reopened to the public Friday following a weeklong closure forced by the stubborn wildfire.
Friday morning, state officials warned residents of Borrego Springs, San Ysidro and surrounding communities to beware of the possibility of flash floods through Sunday due the possibility of showers and thunderstorms over the burned area over the period.
Cal Fire advised residents of those areas to have an emergency kit and evacuation plan at the ready in case the National Weather Service issues a flash-flood watch or warning.