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Update May 25, 2012-7:45 a.m. - The fire is now 2,500 acres and 20% contained.  There have been no reported injuries to firefighters and no structures were damaged or destroyed.  

Cal-Fire reports there are currently 36 engines, 17 fire crews, 3 bulldozers, 9 water tenders, 4 helicopters and 6 airtankers (393 firefighters).  Shelter Valley residents have been allowed to return home.


Update 9:40 p.m .-Shelter Valley residents will be allowed to return home for the night and Highway 78 has reopened. There are no updates yet on containment.

Update 6:45 p.m. - The fire is now 1200 acres and is 5 percent contained, Cal-Fire reports. The fire is approximately 10 miles east of Julian and burning away from the town, toward Borrego.

Evacuations: San Diego Sheriff's Dept. reports that the evacuation route out of Shelter Valley is S2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) east toward Borrego Springs. The evacuation center is at Borrego High School, 2281 Digueno Drive, Borrego.

Road closures include: 

  • San Felipe Rd from Montezuma Valley Rd to SR-78
  • SR-78 about 2.5 miles east and west of S2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) 
  • S2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) from SR-78 to south of Shelter Valley

Update 4:45 p.m. - A Call Center has been established for concerned residents (619) 590-3160.  211 is also providing updates on incidents based upon Cal-Fire releases. Updates will also be posted on the San Diego County Emergency site at


Update 4:25 p.m. - Roxanne Provaznik at Cal-Fire has provided this update:  This fire is now 1,000 acres, spreading rapidly, with a west wind pushing the fire to the east.  The fire is now burning onto Granite Peak.  The fire is burning grass within last years Great Fire.  The Incident Commander has ordered 10 more engines, 4 more fire crews, 2 additional helicopters, 4 additional bulldozers and 4 additional water tenders. The Incident Command Post is at S-2 and Hwy 78.

May 24, 2012 (Julian)--The Banner Fire burning east of Julian in the Banner Grade has leaped to 150 acres, Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler reports. Cal-Fire is preparing for evacuations of 100 homes in Shelter Valley.  Highway 78/S-22 is also being closed from the top of Banner Grade to the bottom, into Ocotillo Wells.

Incident Page Network now reports that the Incident Commander reports "fire is hitting houses on Great Sandy Trail and Jackass Trail."

"The Fire has potential to be an extended attack (large) fire. 

Thirty engines, four fire crews, four helicopters, six air tankers and a bulldozer are battling the blaze. Additional resources have been ordered. 

The fire is located in an area known as Cigarette Canyon close to the location of last year’s Great Fire. Cause is under investigation.

The Red Cross is setting up an evacuation center at the Borrego Springs High School.  "San Diego Sheriff's Department is handling evacuations and Animal Control is being contacted for animal evacutions," Cal-Fire's Roxanne Provaznik reported at 4:03 p.m.

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At the north of S2, the

At the north end of S2, the government is fighting a fire that is threatening homes and wilderness; but at south end, they've already begun construction of a wind farm that will ruin the town of Ocotillo, and completely obliterate the surrounding desert wilderness for many miles.

Make sense to you?