Above: The West Fire at Alpine, California. Screenshot from KUSI video.
(UPDATED at 4:37 p.m. PDT July 6, 2018)
CAL FIRE said the spread of the West Fire has been virtually stopped, but there is still quite a bit of active fire between structures that is threatening buildings. Firefighters will be working throughout the night to mitigate the threat.
(Originally published at 3:33 p.m. PDT July 6, 2018)
A destructive wildfire broke out during a heat wave in Southern California Friday. As the temperature in eastern San Diego County exceeded 100 degrees the West Fire started on the east side of Alpine and quickly spread through residential areas south of Interstate 8.
At 3:30 p.m. the fire had burned approximately 350 acres.
In viewing video shot by KUSI News, it appeared that many structures were likely victim to the flames.
There may have been a close call involving an inmate crew. The tweet below has an unfortunate choice of words, but the crew appears to be moving as rapidly as possible away from advancing flames.
A group of inmate firefighters were caught escaping the scene as the fire quickly grew in the area surrounding them. None of them appeared to be injured. #WestFire
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) July 6, 2018
The screenshot below from the KUSI video (at -41:20) was probably just after the crew “escaped” the flames only to have to confront traffic on the busy lanes of Interstate 8 which appeared to be fully open. They can be seen running at first.
The video, if you can deal with the constantly panning camera, shows many examples of structures burning. I skimmed through and while I saw a couple of places with retardant on the ground, I only saw one air tanker, a 1,200-gallon S-2T, making a drop. I didn’t see any helicopters, but there could have been many aircraft that I missed or didn’t appear in front of the camera. Eight air tankers were reloading with retardant at Medford, Oregon Thursday while fighting the Klamathon Fire just south of the California/Oregon border.
From the photos below it appears that the fire burned up against the back yard of the USFS Descanso Ranger District office at 3348 Alpine Blvd. and was also very active across the street.