Dozens of residents in southeastern San Diego County were under mandatory evacuation orders today as hundreds of firefighters battled a 2,000-acre blaze that has destroyed at least 20 homes and damaged 10 others, authorities said.
The so-called Shockey Fire broke out on Shockey Truck Trail and Highway 94 on the Campo Indian Reservation east of Campo around 12:15 p.m. Sunday, according to Cal Fire. There were no immediate reports of injury, and the cause of the fire was under investigation.
As of 7 a.m., the blaze was 10 percent contained, according to the state agency, which reported that 20 homes were destroyed and 10 others damaged.
The fire also ravaged numerous outbuildings in the area and damaged overhead power lines in the area, knocking out power to 134 San Diego Gas & Electric customers around 2:45 p.m. Sunday, the utility reported.
The outage affected parts of Live Oak Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba, according to SDG&E, which said power likely would be restored this morning.
Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler said the weather was contributing to the fire’s growth. By early evening Sunday, temperatures were in the high 80s and winds were blowing at around 20 miles per hour.
Authorities from their command center at Golden Acorn Casino off Interstate 8 began issuing mandatory evacuation orders around 2:30 p.m. Sunday for residents of about 80 homes in the Tierra del Sol, Jewel Valley and Boulevard areas.
The orders were delivered largely via the county’s reverse 911 system, which phones residents with instructions to leave their homes immediately.
Though the orders were “mandatory,” California law prohibits authorities from forcing residents from their homes, even in an emergency. It was unclear early today how many residents complied with the evacuation orders.
The Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at Mountain Empire High School at 3305 Buckman Springs Road in Pine Valley. Classes at all Mountain Empire School District campuses were closed today, said Paul Mallon, the district’s director of operations.
Agencies assisting Cal Fire in battling the blaze included the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Forest Service and various Indian
reservation fire departments.
More than 300 firefighters, 45 fire engines, four fire crews, six air tankers, two helicopters, two bulldozers and two water tenders were assigned to the fire, Mohler said.
There were also roughly two dozen sheriff’s deputies assisting firefighters, said San Diego County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.