Home Fire News Valley fire tops 10,250 acres, remains 1 percent contained

Valley fire tops 10,250 acres, remains 1 percent contained

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Teri Figueroa
The San Diego Union-Tribune
(TNS)

The Valley fire grew a bit overnight, reaching 10,258 acres but remaining 1 percent contained as the battle to stop its march in rugged East County terrain enters its third day.

Monday brings a new tool to the fight: military planes.

Cal Fire is pulling the trigger on a standing agreement with the Navy 3rd Fleet and the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force to use military aircraft on the fire, Cal Fire spokesman Capt. Kendal Bortisser said.

“We work with the military throughout the year to ensure that they are trained and know our operating procedures,” he said.

Overnight, the fire grew by a little more than 400 acres. The danger persists. Late Sunday brought an evacuation order for people who live near Barrett Lake, a reservoir east of Lyons Valley Road.

At more than 10,000 acres, the fire is roughly 100 times the size of SDCCU stadium and surrounding parking lot in Mission Valley.

The fire has already destroyed 11 homes and 25 outbuildings in Japatul Valley southeast of Alpine. Bortisser said damage assessment teams are sweeping through the burn area to get a better grasp on specifically what those structures are.

The fire, roughly 30 miles east of downtown San Diego, started Saturday afternoon and quickly exploded, fueled by old growth and brittle vegetation. Crews attacking it are also grappling with triple-digit temperatures wrought by a dangerous heatwave.

On Sunday, nearly 400 firefighters were on the fire lines.

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