Update 11 p.m. – The Pala Fire is now 40% contained. A Red Cross Evacuation Center is set up at 12194 Pala Mission Road at the Jim Banks Sports Complex. Evacuation advisories have gone out to an additional 79 homes this evening within the following Thomas Bro. map pages/grids: page 999, grids G2 through G5, H2 through H5, J2 through J5 Page 409, D5 and E5 Total 79 numbers.
The Pala Fire has approximately 48 engines, 12 fire crews, 3 helicopters, 2 bulldozers, 5 water tenders, airtankers, with 605 firefighters assigned. Approximately 35 homes, and 5 outbuildings are threatened; the fire is burning in a northeasterly direction. Cost to fight the fire has been estimated at $50,000. An Incident Command Team has been ordered. San Diego County Fire Agencies, San Diego Sheriff's Department, U. S. Forest Service, CHP, SDG&E, and Pala Tribal Security are assisting Cal-Fire. An Incident Command Post has been set up at the Pala Fire Station.
Update 3:03 p.m. - The fire is now 300 acres and is zero percent contained, Cal Fire reports. Currently the blaze is burning east, away from Fallbrook, the Fallbrook Viillage News reports. Forty homes have received evacuation advisory notices.
Pala Rez Radio indicates access for firefighters is difficult along steep mining roads near tourmaline gem mines in the area. The fire began with a traffic accident on Pala Temecula Road in northeast San Diego, Thomas Brothers page 1029 H3.
Smoke is also visible in portions of North County from a second fire burning in the Menafee area of south Riverside County, currently about 67 acres.
Update 2:30 p.m. Cal Fire has requested that prepare for evacuation messages be sent to 37 additional residents in the areas of Thomas Bro. Map Page 999 Grids G2, G3, G4, G5, H2, H3, H4, H5 , J2, J3, J4, J5 and Map Page 409 D5 and E5.
Update 2:07 p.m. Reverse 911 calls have been made to three residences in the area of Thomas Bro. Map page 999 grid H2 (Rancho Heights and Magee Rd.) urging them to prepare for evacuation if necessary.
August 29, 2011 (Pala) 1:20 p.m. – A white Toyota Camry struck a power pole late this morning, knocking down power lines into water nearby on Pala Temecula Road near Moro Road, California Highway Patrol’s incident page reports. The car became energized and caught fire, also sparking a brush fire that has now burned around 200 acres. A SIG ALERT has been issued.
“It’s burning in an easterly direction,” Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler told ECM. Over 100 firefighters are battling the blaze. Mohler initially said evacuations were ordered, but San Diego Sheriff's Melissa Aquino has clarified that residents are told to be on standby for possible evacuation as of 2:07 p.m.
Pala Temecula is closed at Mejo and Deer Hollow, according to the California Highway Patrol website. There is no word yet on the fate of the driver of the Toyota, or whether there was anyone else in the vehicle.
The fire has more than a mile-long fire line with a second head in the vicinity of Menafee in Riverside County, according to the Wildland Firefighters blog site.
If you have photos or eyewitness information on this fire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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