FIREFIGHTERS SAVE HOMES, HALT CHAPARRAL FIRE

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By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Scott Lagace

January 17, 2020 (Santee) – Tensions ran high in Santee yesterday, when a fast-moving brush fire scorched 36 acres, threatening homes and high-voltage power lines.

“Crazy and way too close,” photographer Scott Lagace says of the blaze near his Santee home.

The fire began in the 10,000 block of Chaparral Drive near the Carlton Hills neighborhood. Sheriff’s deputies went door to door evacuating residents and an evacuation center was set up at Santana High School.

Photo, right by Scott Lagace: Flames burned near Sunrise Powerlink, which supplies power to much of San Diego County.

Fixed-wing aircraft and the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter made water drops, joining ground crews from multiple agencies battling the blaze.

Photo, left by Scott Lagace:  Cal Fire plane sprays fire retardant to save homes.

No homes were lost and forward spread was halted around 3:15 p.m. Evacuation orders were lifted by early evening.

Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo, right, by Erik Herrara:  Ground crews remained on scene dousing hot spots with shovels and hoses.


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