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Coyote Fire in Potrero area increases to 466 acres burned, evacuations still in effect

Posted at 1:41 PM, Aug 17, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Evacuation orders remained in effect Friday for many residents in the Potrero area as crews continued to battle a brush fire that erupted Thursday afternoon and destroyed over 400 acres.

In an update issued just before 6:40 a.m. Friday, Cal Fire San Diego officials said the so-called Coyote Fire had burned 466 acres and was 10% contained.

The Coyote Fire broke out Thursday at around 12:30 p.m. in an area of Coyote Holler Road, initially spreading at a "dangerous rate of speed." Structures on Horizon View Drive, Round Potrero Road and Yerba Santa Road were threatened by the blaze.

Because of the fire, the Red Cross established Mountain Empire High School (3305 Buckman Springs Road in Pine Valley) as an evacuation center. Additionally, for safety reasons, all Mountain Empire Unified School District schools were be closed on Friday.

"The safety of our students, their families, and our staff remains our top priority, and the district will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as they become available," the San Diego County Office of Education said in a released statement Thursday night.

California Highway Patrol officials said Portrero Valley Road at Round Potrero Road was shut down due to the fire response. Round Potrero Road was also closed between Yerba Santa Road and Potrero Valley Road.

The sheriff's department says that people impacted by the evacuation order can take their animals, including livestock, to San Diego County's Animal Shelter at 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita.

"Drive carefully around deputies and firefighters in the fire area as you evacuate," the department tweeted.