VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS IN DULZURA

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Update May 21, 2017, 8 a.m.  -- The Gate fire nearly doubled overnight to 1,500 acres,  but firefighters made good progress overnight and the wildfire is now 30% contained. Road closures remain in effect.

Update 9 p.m. - An overnight shelter is opened at Otay Ranch High School,  250 Olympic Parkway in Chula Vista for those who have evacuated.  Pet supplies and RV parking are available.

East County New Service

Photo by Cyndy Hoffman, taken from her home, looking toward Otay

May 20, 2017 (Dulzura) -- The fast-moving Gate Fire has charred 800 acres and is 10% contained.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m., the following emergency message was sent to 77 contacts by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department:  “There is a fire in the area of Dulzura. The wind is blowing to the East and there is a concern that the fire may spread to your area.  You are being advised to be ready to evacuate if notified to do so.  You may evacuate now if you choose to do so.  The evacuation route is Highway 94 East to Buckman Springs North to Interstate 8 West.  Take interstate 8 West to East Willows Road.  Exit East Willows Road and turn right(north).  Continue West on East Willows Road to the Viejas Casino.  The Red Cross will have a temporary evacuation center located in the casino parking lot. This a fire warning only, not an evacuation order"

If you have an emergency call 9-1-1.  Monitor local television and radio stations, or call the San Diego County Information line by calling 2-1-1 for updated information. For animal emergencies related to this fire please contact Animal Services Dispatch (619) 767-2675.

Nadin Abbott with Reporting San Diego was at the scene earlier today and gave this account of the fire's rapid spread.  "We were at the command center with the fire edge a good distance. When the winds changed, it started to charge towards the road and we were there as it got to the edge of the road in less than a minute. It covered at least 50 feet in ten seconds, and we left in a hurry..The heat was so high that the sensor started to white out."

Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez confirmed to Abbott that the fire started near a shooting range, as a witness earlier told East County Magazine.  He also emphasized the importance of clearing defensible space.

Highway 94 remains closed from Honey Springs Road to State Route 188.  Otay Lakes Road is also closed and the Thousand Trails campground has been evacuated.

The Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton reports a collision involving a truck this evening at  Honey Springs Road at Deerhorn Valley Road. Residents are advised to take alternate routes.

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