'Gate Fire' grows as containment increases

2000+ acres, 70 percent containment
Posted at 6:20 AM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-21 22:43:32-04

JAMUL, Calif.(KGTV) - A brush fire that sparked Saturday grew to 2,056 acres but containment of the blaze also increased to 70 percent, Cal Fire said Sunday. 

The blaze began as a 10 acre brush fire north of Dulzura and south of Jamul around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, closing State Route 94 and nearby roads. By 7:30 p.m., it had grown to 850 acres with 15 percent containment, Cal Fire reported.

Chief Isaac Sanchez with Cal Fire credits California's record-breaking rainfall for the rapid spread of the blaze now dubbed 'Gate Fire'.

"It's the heavy grass load that we're seeing that's a direct result of the heavy rains that we received this winter. It's like this up and down the state right now," Sanchez said. "Fires are growing very quickly and very early in their life."

Strong winds didn't help conditions yesterday either, Sanchez said. 

But 10News meteorologist Kristen Keogh reported good news for fire crews and residents Sunday morning. 

Temperatures are expected to decrease Sunday with a high of 88 degrees and humidity will rise to 21 percent, a definite improvement over yesterday's 10-20 percent humidity. 

Keogh cautions that wind gusts of up to 20 mph may continue to pose a threat to firefighters Sunday but Sanchez said they're prepared for westerly winds that are part of San Diego's weather pattern. 

"It's going to start out just like it did yesterday, which is to say not much wind initially but generally speaking in the afternoon as things warm up we will see a pick up in the breeze that's blowing," Sanchez said. "It's a thing that we know happens and we plan for it." 


  • An evacuation order remains in place for Pio Pico campground
  • An evacuation warning remains in effect for Dulzura

Campers and residents from Pio Pico and Dulzura can find help at the San Diego Red Cross evacuation center set up at Otay Ranch High School located at 1250 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91913. The center has food, water and shelter not just for people but their pets, too. 

The San Diego Humane Society is helping families care for their pets during this stressful time. They're set up at the Red Cross shelter and have supplies to assist pet owners. 

10News reporter Jessica Chen said about 40 people were displaced at the center overnight.  


A Chula Vista Police officer who was directing traffic in the area of Otay Lakes Rd. and Wueste Rd. was struck by a vehicle.  The officer suffered serious injuries and was taken to a trauma unit.


On Sunday, Highway 94 opened to traffic in the area of the fire. Otay Lakes Rd. is open to all traffic.  Cal Fire is reminding drivers to be cautious in the fire zone.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Fire information is available by calling 211 or checking online.

Sandy Coronilla is a KGTV digital producer. Follow her @10NewsSandy 



The Gate Fire is the latest vegetation fire to strike the region this week. Friday, crews doused a 3-acre vegetation fire near Deer Springs Road in Escondido that threatened homes at one point, though no damages were reported.

Thursday, Escondido Fire and Cal Fire crews battled back another small acreage fire off Dublin Lane and La Honda Drive.