By Miriam Raftery
May 17, 2014 (San Diego County)—CAL-FIRE reports that the Highway Fire is now 100% contained, with no structures lost and cost to date of $843,796 for firefighting.
The Cocos Fire is now 70% contained after threatening 1,500 structures and destroying 8 single family homes and a multi-family residence. Cause remains under investigation and the cost to date of firefighting is nearly $3 million. There are 1,269 personnel on the scene as well as 162 engines, 27 fire crews, 2 helicopters and 1 water tender, as well as 11 bulldozers and other equipment.
Firefighters continue to construct new containment lines and improve existing containment lines on the Cocos Fire, said Captain Kendal Bortisser with CAL-FIRE. Activity is limited to smoldering within the fire perimeter and mop-up has begun.
Some residents have been allowed to return home, though evacuations remain in some areas:
San Marcos: Questhaven south of Elfin Forest through Harmony Grove and the area east of Twin Oaks Valley Road along Barham Drive and south into the Coronado Hills Community. Escondido-Remaining closed are the communities of Hidden Hills and Live Oak. Country Club Road form Hill Valley to Harmony Grove Road and Kauna OLoa to Harmony Grove. Harmony Grove will remain closed at Country Club Drive.
The fire is under unified command of CAL FIRE, San Marcos Fire, Escondido Fire, and Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove Fire Department.
Residents returning to the area are asked to use caution, as fire equipment will still be in the area.
There are localized areas of smoke near several fires burning in areas of San Diego County. As a result, fine particulates, or PM2.5 concentrations may reach unhealthful levels in some smoke impacted areas. In areas of heavy smoke, assume that air quality levels are unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy for all individuals. In areas with minor smoke impacts, assume that air quality levels range from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups. In areas where you smell smoke it is advised that you limit physical activity. If possible, stay indoors to limit your exposure to fine particulate matter. http://www.sdapcd.org/