4 homes burned in 1,700-acre brush fire burning near Campo
Tierra Del Sol, Boulevard, Jewel Valley evacuated
Last Updated: 238 days ago
CAMPO, Calif. - A brush fire burning in the Campo area on Sunday has burned about 1,700 acres and has destroyed four homes along with numerous outbuildings.
The fire, dubbed the "Shockey Fire," was reported at about 12:16 p.m. off Shockey Truck Trail near the Campo Indian Reservation, according to Cal Fire.
As of about 10:30 p.m., the fire had burned about 1,700 acres and was 10 percent contained.
The homes that were destroyed were along Tierra Del Sol Road, according to Cal Fire.
"I've seen people passing by crying on horseback, knowing that the fire was going straight to their house," said Adrian Robles.
There may be more homes destroyed, but Cal Fire will not know for sure until Monday morning.
Authorities began issuing evacuations at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for residents in the area.
A reverse 911 call went out to evacuate 77 homes in the 500 block to the 2100 block of Tierra Del Sol Road in Boulevard, fire officials said. That location is just north of the Mexican border and east of Campo and Tecate.
About 50 to 60 homes in the area of Jewel Valley and Jewel Valley Road were also evacuated.
Evacuations were in place for Tierra Del Sol, Jewel Valley and Boulevard area. About 80 residents are still under evacuation orders.
Evacuee Stephen Savin told 10News, "We just started packing stuff up... valuables and loading up the horses."
People in the area have been through fire evacuations before.
When asked if it gets easier, Savin responded, "Easier... no. Everybody's on alert trying to stay focused."
Another evacuee, Lonnie Kernes, said he was on his way home when he received a disturbing phone call from his wife.
"I was out of town this morning and as I was driving home, my wife called me on my cell phone to tell me there was a fire here and it was threatening," he said.
Kernes eventually got home. He and his wife loaded up their SUV with their cat and left, but not without one frightening look back.
"When I turned around and looked back, my house was surrounded by fire on three sides... so I don't know if it's still there or not," he said.
When the call to evacuate first went out, people were told to come to the Golden Acorn Casino, which was serving as a command post where fire officials could coordinate the fire fight.
Later, the Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Mountain Empire High School, which is located at 3305 Buckman Springs Rd. in Pine Valley. Small animals should go with their owners to the shelter. The San Diego Humane Society is setting up a separate area to care for the animals. Anyone with livestock can call (619) 236-2341.
As of about 10 p.m., eight adults and three children were using the shelter.
Chelsie Blanchard, her mother, her two children and three dogs were the first to show up to the high school.
"We got the phone call… the reverse 911… and they're like, 'It's a mandatory evacuation, go to the high school'... and we're like, 'mandatory?' So we went outside and of course, you could see the clouds and the smoke and we got kind of scared," she said.
But when it comes to the fate of the home she left behind in Boulevard, Blanchard is philosophical.
"A home's just a home," she told 10News. "I have what I have with me and that's all that's important, to be honest."
Kernes shared a similar outlook. When asked what his hopes were, he responded, "I hope that I can call you from my house tomorrow."
School has been canceled Monday for all schools in the Mountain Empire Unified School District, according to Paul Mallon, the director of operations for the district.
Authorities have also closed Old Highway 80 at Jewel Valley Road.
According to fire officials, more than 300 firefighters, 45 engines, four crews, six air tankers and two helicopters, two dozers and two water tenders are battling the fire.
Cal Fire said the fire is burning actively towards the east and is continuing to threaten 80 homes in the East County.
No injuries were immediately reported. The cause of the blaze was unknown and under investigation.
10News will continue coverage online and on 10News This Morning, starting at 4:30 a.m.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.