Shelter Valley residents who were evacuated because of the Banner Fire Thursday afternoon were allowed to return home Thursday night.
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The stretch of Highway 78 that had been closed due to the fire has reopened.
The blaze near Banner Grade in the Shelter Valley area of eastern San Diego County began spreading about 2:15 p.m., according to Cal Fire.
It was 20 percent contained as of Friday morning and moving in a southeasterly direction toward the desert, away from Julian, and residents of the Shelter Valley area were being allowed to return to their homes, Schuler said.
About 500 firefighters were battling the blaze overnight, the message stated. No estimate was given for when the fire would be fully contained and extinguished.
Within two hours of starting, the burn area had grown to more than 1,000 acres, said Schuler. It expanded to roughly 1,500 acres by Friday morning, but no injuries or structural damage were reported.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the blaze, which was burning in an area scorched in early October by a 2,100-acre inferno dubbed the Great Fire. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
A shelter for displaced residents was opened at Borrego Springs High School but closed Thursday night after the evacuation orders were lifted.
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