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Southern Fire in Shelter Valley forces evacuations in east San Diego County

Southern Fire burns in Shelter Valley.png
Shelter Valley Brush fire
Posted at 7:15 PM, May 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 20:33:36-04

SHELTER VALLEY (KGTV) -- A large fire that erupted in Shelter Valley on Saturday grew overnight as strong winds spread flames, according to Cal Fire.

The fire was first reported at around 4 p.m. on the 14000 block of Great Southern Overland Stage Route, south of Shelter Valley near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The blaze, named the Southern Fire, grew to several thousand acres overnight into Sunday as winds reached 40 to 60 mph. As of Monday at 5:30 p.m., the fire had reached 5,184 acres and was 55% contained.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Southern Fire erupts in Shelter Valley

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory that was in effect until 11 p.m. Sunday for the San Diego County mountains and deserts.

Five hundred residents have been evacuated from Butterfield Ranch campground to Agua Caliente County Park.

Cal Fire said the fire destroyed three single-family residences and two accessory buildings had been destroyed.

The San Diego Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team is responding to the Southern Fire to support San Diego County’s Department of Animal Services in evacuating animals, according to a Tweet from the Humane Society.

The organization said it aided the San Diego County Department of Animal Services overnight in rescuing rabbits, goats, donkeys, horses, and chickens.

Anyone who needs help getting animals evacuated is asked to call the Department of Animal Services at 619-236-2341.