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By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter

June 20, 2016 (Potrero) -- The Border Fire has charred 1,900 acres and is now 5% contained as of 9 a.m. according to Cal Fire.  The community of Potrero remains under evacuation order. Highway 94 remains closed through the area.

Scanner traffic indicates a second fire has been reported in Mexico close to the Border Fire; we are awaiting confirmation and details.

Mt. Empire School District has announced all schools districtwide will be closed today due to the fire. Three people have been injured including a firefighter. Several outbuildings have burned, per Cal Fire. Hundreds of firefighters from across Southern California are battling the blaze in steep, rugged terrain that has burned in many years and is dry from years of drought during triple-digit heat.

The emergency shelter for today is at Campo Elementary School, 1654 Buckman Springs Road.

Reporting San Diego has reported yesterday that some horses were turned loose by county animal services personnel to save them from the fast-moving fire which started yesterday near highways 94 and 188. Reporter Nadin Abbott interviewed Nancy Fritz in Potrero, whose home was saved thanks to water drops from a Very Large Air Tanker or VLAT.

Some stayed behind.  One neighbor from a nearby community fought a fire with a garden hose, a situation Cal Fire warns is very dangerous as the agency urges everyone in the impacted area to leave.

Several outbuildings have burned. Flames came within 50 feet of the town's general store, a historic structure that dates to the 1800s.

10 News reported that 44 people spent the night at an overnight shelter at Campo Elementary School, some forced to sleep in their cars, along with pets on a day when temperatures reached around 110 degrees in the area.  Cal Fire announced a shelter at the Campo Community Center but since it is not an official Red Cross Center, a note on the door at one point referred people to the Campo Elementary School site an hour away, according to 10 news.  Some also sought refuge yesterday during the day at the Dulzura Community Center.

SDG&E's website indicates 94 customers are without power in Dulzura/Potrero/Campo, the fire area, with power restoration expected at 6 p.m. today.  A separate unplanned outage in Lake Morena has left 96 without power; restoration there is also set for 6 p.m. Phone landlines and cell service are both out in the Potrero area.

SDG&E has issued a Flex Alert for today, asking all customers to conserve power.  Outages are possible so be prepared.

If you need emergency assistance in evacuation, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information, check the San Diego County Emergency website at or call the San Diego Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at 858-565-5200 or dial 211.  For help with large animal evacuations due to , call the San Diego County Animal Services at (619) 236-2341.  Follow additional updates on Twitter at #BorderFire.

Road closures in effect on Highway 94 are changing rapidly as the fire moves. (Photo, right, by Leon Thompson yesterday)  Get the latest traffic and road closure information at

You can listen to scanner traffic on the  Border Fire at:



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