California: Border Fire forces evacuation of additional areas, including Lake Morena Village

(UPDATED at 8:15 a.m. PDT June 24, 2016)

map Border Fire
Perimeter of the Border Fire (in red) at approximately 9 p.m. June 23, 2016.The white line was the perimeter two days before. Click to enlarge.

The growth of the Border Fire east of Potrero, California has slowed in recent days. CAL FIRE reports that it has burned 7,483 acres.

****

(UPDATED at 7:20 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016)

map border fire
Map of the Border Fire at approximately 3 a.m. PDT, June 22, 2016. Click to enlarge.

The Border Fire at Potrero, California, 18 miles east of the greater San Diego area, continued to spread to the east on Tuesday, adding another 480 acres. CAL FIRE is reporting that it has burned a total of 6,500 acres, two residences, and 11 outbuildings.

A spot fire 1.2 miles northeast of the main fire had burned 40 acres as of early Wednesday morning.

Resources assigned to the fire include 1,604 personnel, 200 engines, 40 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 12 water tenders, and 7 dozers.

Highway 94 and the Pacific Crest Trail are closed.

****

CAL FIRE reported at 7 p.m. on June 21 the revised size of the Border Fire was 6,020 acres.

****

(UPDATED at 5:25 p.m. PDT June 21, 2016)

New evacuations were ordered for the Border Fire in San Diego County at 2 p.m on Tuesday June 21. It includes Lake Morena Village northwest of Campo, California.

Border Fire new evac

CAL FIRE reported that there are 1,484 personnel assigned, plus 158 engines, 32 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 12 water tenders, and 3 dozers.

The mandatory evacuations have been placed in parts of the city of Duarte and in the national monument still remain in effect.

****

(UPDATED at 6:10 a.m. PDT June 21, 2016)

Border Fire perimeter map
Border Fire perimeter at 9 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016. Click to enlarge.

CAL FIRE’s latest estimate on the size of the Border Fire at Potrero, California was 7,500 acres late Monday afternoon. Our very rough analysis of Monday night’s mapping data puts it much closer to 6,000 acres … but it may eventually grow into the larger figure.

The fire has gone through or past several small communities with names like Dog Patch, and has come within two miles of Campo, which was the first evacuation shelter. When the fire grew closer to Campo, the shelter was moved to the rest area on Buckman Springs Road at Interstate 8, and was later relocated to El Cajon at the Los Coches Creek Middle School, 9669 Dunbar Lane.

According to CAL FIRE mandatory evacuations are still in effect for the communities of Potrero, Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch, & Canyon City. Highway 94 remains closed. 

The number of structures destroyed remains at four outbuildings. There have been three minor injuries to firefighters.

Weather forecast Border Fire
Weather forecast for the Border Fire area. NWS. Click to enlarge.

While the temperature on Tuesday and Wednesday will be closer to 90 than the recently seen 105 degrees, the weather for the next two days is still a concern for firefighters, with west winds predicted at 13 to 16 mph including gusts of 21 to 26 mph. The relative humidity will be in the low 20s each day.

****

(UPDATED at 9:29 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016)

Map Border fire
Map showing heat detected by a satellite over the Border fire at 1:20 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016 (the red icons). The brown icons represent heat detected at 2 a.m. June 30. It is likely that in areas with light fuel, such as grass, the fire burned and then cooled before the satellite overflight and was not detected in those areas. Therefore, the fire may be larger than indicated by the satellite data.

The map above shows Monday’s eastward movement of the Border Fire at 1:20 p.m. It became well established on the north side of Highway 94.

At 3 p.m. CAL FIRE reported the fire had burned 1,900 acres, and “triple digit temperatures and single digit humidity are creating extreme fire behavior and increased activity is being experienced”.

Evacuations are still in effect.

****

(UPDATED at 1:22 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016)

New evacuations have been ordered for the Border fire near Potrero, California. Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for the community of Potrero, Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch, & Canyon.

Border Fire
Firefighters battle the Border fire. CAL FIRE photo.

****

(UPDATED at 9:08 a.m. PDT June 20, 2016)

Map Border fire
Map showing heat detected by a satellite, represented by the red dots, at 3:42 a.m. June 20 at the Border Fire. It is likely that in areas with light fuel, such as grass, the fire burned and then cooled before the satellite overflight and was not detected in those areas. Therefore, the fire may be larger than indicated by the satellite data.

Live video from the Fox TV station in San Diego at 7 a.m. PDT Monday showed very little activity on the Border Fire near Potrero, California just north of the Mexico border. It was generating smoke but much of it was hanging in the valleys or drifting off to the west. There were a few areas with active flame.

Border Fire firefighters
CAL FIRE photo.

Highway 94 is closed and the evacuation order for Potrero remains in effect. The evacuation shelter is at the Campo Elementary School, 1654 Buckman Springs Road.

At 7:30 a.m. PDT CAL FIRE reported the fire had burned 1,900 acres and destroyed four outbuildings. There have been three firefighter injuries that required transport to medical facilities. They expect to have a very significant number of aircraft supporting firefighters today. An incident management team has been ordered.

Border Fire Weather forecast

Click on the above image to enlarge.

At 8:27 PDT Monday morning it was already 99 degrees at Potrero. The weather forecast for the fire area indicates the potential for continued significant fire spread on Monday. The wind should be out of the north and northwest at 6 to 18 mph with gusts at 21 to 29 mph, and relative humidity of 8 percent. Firefighters will also be battling the heat — 105 degrees. Tuesday will be 13 degrees cooler with partly cloudy skies, but it will still be breezy with 13 mph west winds gusting to 21 and a relative humidity of 22 percent.

****

Originally published at 7:20 p.m. PDT, June 19, 2016.

Border fire mapThe Border Fire started in triple-digit temperatures at 11 a.m. today and by 7:15 PDT had grown to 1,500 acres (according to CAL FIRE) and forced the complete evacuation of Potrero, 18 air miles southeast of the San Diego metropolitan area. It is burning near the Mexico border north of Tecate, Mexico close to the intersection of Highways 94 and 188, requiring the closure of Highway 94.

Numerous structures are threatened and some cellular phone service has been knocked out by the fire.

The video below is a time-lapse from Sunday afternoon.

Weather conditions Potrero
Weather conditions at Potrero 6:27 p.m. PDT, June 19, 2016

The high temperature at Potrero today was 104 degrees with 9 percent relative humidity. It will be even hotter on Monday with a forecast for the fire area of 111 degrees, 8 percent relative humidity, and winds out of the north and northwest at 13 to 18 mph. These predicted weather conditions will present a challenge for firefighters having to work in that environment, but the weather will also be conducive to additional fire growth.

weather forecast Border Fire
Weather forecast for the area of the Border Fire. NWS. Click to enlarge.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

5 thoughts on “California: Border Fire forces evacuation of additional areas, including Lake Morena Village”

  1. I love I’m potrero and am now at campo evac ctr. The fire has reached bell valley in the east side of potrero. I’m told most homes north of sr94 are
    allright, but a few structures south are gone. No confirmation in this though.

    1. Would you ask if anyone there in your evacuation center is named Janice or Becky Burton and Travis Burton. We are their family and not able to make contact. Mt email is klou.zim@Comcast.com. Any help is appreciated. Kathy Burton and Richard Burton

  2. Police are blocking people from getting their pets but allowing them to get horses and cattle WTF

  3. Bill Gabbert was right about the inaccuracy of the fire map, the San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that the fire has burned 7,500 acres.

Comments are closed.