Update on Border Fire


Photos Tom and Nadin Abbott



Update 4:50 If you are on CAL FRESH…

CalFresh benefits food supply destroyed due to the ? You may be eligible for replacement benefits. Dial 2-1-1 for eligibility.

The Mountain Empire School District will be closed for the reset of the school year, This is according to their statement on their official Facebook page.

Mountain Empire Schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. High School Graduation will take place on Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 pm at El Capitan High School in Lakeside. 8th Grade promotion will take place on Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 pm at El Capitan High School. Students should arrive 1 hour prior to the graduation or promotion exercises. Thank you for your patience at this time. We hope that you and your family are safe. Final exams are cancelled. Please check your teachers’ Google Classrooms for any updates regarding your grades.

More specific information for the Lake Morena evacuation orders




operational map calfire

This  is an operational map via CAL FIRE. The area in red is the fire zone, The purple is the evacuation area.


Clf-bP5UgAAHIK22:30 \ Important updates from the County of San Diego. They are in order.

6/21/2016 2:00:00 PM PDT

The Sheriff’s Department issued a new evacuation order in the Lake Morena area Tuesday due to the Border Fire.

Residents who live in the Lake Morena or Morena Village areas should evacuate.

For the exact evacuation order perimeter, see this map.

  • Border Fire – Evacuation Order 8

Evacuees can proceed to an American Red Cross shelter set up at Los Coches Creek Middle School at 9669 Dunbar Ln., El Cajon.

Large animal shelters are also available at the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection station located at 2463 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard, and Circle T Ranch at 24215 Viejas Grade Rd., Descanso.

If you need emergency assistance evacuating, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information, visit sdcountyemergency.com or call 2-1-1.

For assistance evacuating animals, call County Animal Services dispatch at 619-236-2341.

6/21/2016 1:30:00 PM PDT

CAL FIRE reported that the Border Fire continues to move to the north and northeast threatening portions of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which has now been closed, and surrounding communities in southeastern San Diego County. Firefighters will continue to slow the growth of the fire, eventually stopping the spread of the fire.

CAL FIRE said in its latest update that 800 structures are threatened and four outbuildings have been destroyed. The fire’s acreage still stands at 7,500, with 5 percent containment.

County Animal Services can help evacuate animals and provide food and water to those animals left behind in a safe evacuation area. For assistance, call the Animal Services’ dispatch number at 619-236-2341.

Register for AlertSanDiego to get emergency notifications from police and fire through the region’s mass notification system atreadysandiego.org/get-the-call-campaign.

For additional information, visit sdcountyemergency.com or call the San Diego Sheriff’s Department non-emergency line at 858-565-5200.

For additional information, visit @CALFIRESanDiego.


June 21, 2016 (POTRERO) Acreage and containment information has not changed from last night. It is still at 7500 acres with 5 percent containment. One of the reasons is that the fire continues to burn north east, and it is now in extremely steep terrain. We could not get to the flames, from the 94 as it was up in the ridge.

Conditions are much better for the fire fight, with humidity up to 15 to 20 percent, according to CAL FIRE PIO Isaac Sanchez, and the temp was down to the mid 80s at 11 in the morning, which is a world of difference from the triple digit temperatures. This is making the fire fight easier.

This is the full raw audio interview with Captain Sanchez.

“Overnight they were experiencing strong winds ” Moreover, “the high temperature, the low humidities and the strong winds created extreme fire behavior. We are talking spotting, we are talking ignition and rates of spread that were cause for alarm.”

The terrain was also inaccessible to ground crews, (and still is in many cases). Sanchez also added that aircraft “were working all day.” And we saw it, and aircraft were still working in today. They have been working the fire since the fire started.In the evening the winds subsided and the temperatures have gone down, so they have been able to get a better handle on the fire. The fire service was expecting a max temperature of 92, with some cloud cover.

We also asked about night operations for aircraft. This is a question that comes up every fire. Why is it that they don’t fly at night? Well they rarely do, but there are reasons for this. According to Sanchez, there is a benefit assessment that the fire service needs to do. Also it is not just saying we need night flying operations. The aircraft have to have the night flying capability, not all do. So there is a set of conditions that need to be met before those are requested. Once they are requested, they need to go through a checklist to get the authorization.

Moreover, there is an issue of safety. Flying during the day into a fire is dangerous enough, and these aircraft are coming in low to do their bombing runs. Visibility close to the ground can be seriously compromised. At night that risk goes up exponentially. Engaging aircraft in a night operation requires crews, equipment and conditions that need to be met. This, like anything else the fire service does, is not a decision taken in haste. There are assets in the county that can engage in night operations, such as the San Diego Fire Department helicopters, but they did not cross those thresholds.


We also saw utilities being restored. San Diego Gas and Electric was replacing poles with metal poles, while AT&T was still using wooden poles. Captain Sanchez told us that all mandatory evacuations remain in place, and that they have no time line, as of yet to let people back in. They need to get the County Damage Assessment teams in, and make the area safe for residents. For the moment there are multiple electrical and telephone lines down, so all that has to first be restored.

All hard closures remain in place.

For the readers, this is personal knowledge as a former first responder, we have had no updates on the acreage that the fire has burned, becuase the terrain is so steep that mapping the perimeter and getting an accurate number is not easy. But from our own location, we saw less smoke production. We were Southwest of the main direction of the fire, and the column was much diminished, and when driving east to the Golden Acorn casino, early in the morning the column was also greatly diminished. So from personal observation there was likely less activity, but there is a caveat to what I just wrote. It was behind a ridge line and we did not have, as the fire service likes to call it, eyes on the fire. But we did see some flames on a ridge, and aircraft aloft. Moreover, news services with helicopters have shown a healthy fire activity. That will tell you how out of reach this is.


Oh and we saw assets from around the state. We mentioned yesterday the Kern County Fire Department, here they are. We are also including the burn map, via twitter, That was done through infrared.

We also took a few photos of a home by the 94. The dog in the yard looks fine. The house also looks fine, but a vehicle did not make it.

Here is a gallery of photos taken today:



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