Border Fire displaces residents and animals while firefighters battle the blaze

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By: Lori Bledsoe
The Alpine Sun
Smoke began to billow in the eastern sky on June 19th at approximately 11:00 a.m.  The cause is under investigation for the initial ignition of the fire, but as of Tuesday evening, the Border Fire that began in Potrero, CA, was only 10 percent contained.
The temperatures were in the triple digits, approximately 106 degrees in Alpine on Sunday, and 107 degrees on Monday, making the battle of a major wildfire only more strenuous and excruciating.

By: Lori Bledsoe
The Alpine Sun
Smoke began to billow in the eastern sky on June 19th at approximately 11:00 a.m.  The cause is under investigation for the initial ignition of the fire, but as of Tuesday evening, the Border Fire that began in Potrero, CA, was only 10 percent contained.
The temperatures were in the triple digits, approximately 106 degrees in Alpine on Sunday, and 107 degrees on Monday, making the battle of a major wildfire only more strenuous and excruciating.
The humidity was low on Monday, registering as 14 percent, and the wind was fanning the flames, making the burn area erupt exponentially, eating up over 6,200 acres.
Cooler temperatures were promised Monday night, with an increase of humidity by Tuesday. But even with the cooler temperatures, the steep terrain and overgrowth of extremely dry vegetation creates an erratic fire behavior that has been threatening communities for over two days.
The San Diego Sheriff issued evacuation orders for the communities of Potrero, Forrest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch, Canyon City and on Tuesday afternoon, Lake Morena.  Also, evacuations orders were issued for the Pacific Crest Trail to the south, Buckman Springs Road to the east from Lake Morena Dr. To Morena Valley Road, Moreno Stokes Valley Road, (Corral Canyon) at Sky Ranch (Sky Valley Road) to the west and Moreno Stokes Valley Road (Corral Canyon) at Buckman Springs Road to the east.  There is a warning to Campo.
Road Closures include: Highway 94 West at Buckman Springs, Eastbound 94 at the 188 and Buckman Springs Road at Old Buckman Springs.
Currently, there is an Evacuation Center set up at Los Coaches Creek Middle School at 9669 Dunbar Lane, El Cajon.  This is an overnight shelter.
With each evacuation that has been ordered, cries for help have been posted for many who have a high number of animals.  Horses, cattle, goats, dogs and cats need transport as families are ordered to vacate their property.  Social Media such as Facebook’s numerous neighborhood pages and Brush Fire Party Line, and Border FIRE- San Diego are answering the call to spread the news of what it happening, as well as garnering help for those in need.
Many have come to the aid, and still more have been volunteering their services and equipment to remove animals from areas that are endangered, but there is a disconnect as those who have the equipment to help, are unable to get to the people that need help.
One person, Kim Fuson, owner of the company Fantasy Donkeys turned to Social Media requesting help for her own animals.  She has 55 donkeys and she was extremely thankful for all who offered to help in her plight.
The Humane Society teams are working behind the fire lines making sure that animals receive water and food. Our Special Response Team, Humane Law Enforcement and our volunteer corps Animal Rescue Reserve are working hard to help the people and animals impacted by the fire in east county.
The Cooperating agencies that have been involved in this battle are: SDG&E, San Diego County Fire, Border Patrol, Cal Trans, CHP, San Diego Sheriff, BLM, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, Humane Society and Red Cross.
The crews have incorporated the use of 115 Engines, 8 Dozers, 12 Water Tenders, 6 Helicopters, 4 Air Tankers, 30 Hand Crews with the Total Personnel working on this event equals 1550 to protect 1,000 threatened structures.  Only 4 outbuildings have been reported to be destroyed.
This is the first major fire of what promises to be potentially treacherous fire season.  The years of drought have dried the vegetation in the back country, and the slow steady rains this year have caused severe overgrowth, and compacted brush undergrowth, making hotspots harder to designate.
For constant updates on the Border Fire, log into Facebook, #BorderFire.

Border Fire displaces residents and animals while firefighters battle the blaze

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