Story and photos by Nadin Abbott
Photo, left: View from one mile west of Barrett Junction, looking east toward Potrero
August 31, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Fueled by extreme heat, dry and windy conditions, the Border32Fire has grown to 4,324 acres tonight and is exhibiting extreme fire behavior. The communities of Potrero, Barrett and Tecate are threatened by the fire, Cal Fire reports tonight.
It began around 2 p.m. near Barrett Road and Highway 94. Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies responded. The fire was under attack by ground and air assets initially, including a very large air tanker, fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Night operations for aircraft are extremely dangerous and are rarely done, even by San Diego Fire Department helicopters that are equipped for this. So as of now this is under attack only by ground based crews, and multiple engine companies, including brush trucks and fire trucks. The latter are used to defend structures.
There are other agencies involved and when I drove to the scene saw plenty of Border Patrol vehicles escorting people out of the areas where there are mandatory evacuations. They were driving them west towards Jamul. According to San Diego County Emergency as of this writing there are over 400 homes under mandatory evacuation. The fire is also burning mostly east.