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Valley Fire: Decision to evacuate a difficult one for some residents

Posted at 12:44 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 15:52:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The Valley Fire has forced many East County residents to evacuate, but one homeowner said he and his family have decided to stay in their home and ride the situation out.

Leo Prado told ABC 10News, “Where are we going to go? It’s not like we just have luggage and we can go into a hotel. We have animals here.”

Prado said picking up and leaving his home in the Deerhorn Valley area, near Jamul, isn’t an easy task, especially with horses and dogs on his property.

Prado and his family are staying put, as their area is only under a voluntary evacuation as of Tuesday afternoon.

According to Prado, his property has not had power since the Valley Fire started on Saturday. He said San Diego Gas & Electric keeps pushing back the restoration time, which is affecting his decisions.


“They keep kicking the can. They say it’ll be back at noon, 30 minutes before that nothing … or 4 p.m. -- 30 to 40 minutes before 4 p.m., nothing,” Prado said.

Prado spends more than $100 a day refilling his propane tanks for the generator his house relies on.

However, with Santa Ana winds set to pick up late Tuesday, Prado said he may be forced to change his mind and find somewhere to go.

ABC 10News reached out to SDG&E for comment, and officials provided this statement:

“We truly appreciate everyone’s patience as our crews continue to work in challenging conditions to restore power safely as soon as possible. The Valley Fire continues to impact SDG&E power lines in the area of the fire. When there is an appropriate level of containment, allowing for safe conditions, SDG&E crews will be allowed to inspect the power lines for damage and will make necessary repairs to ensure their safe operation. We continue to coordinate closely with the CALFIRE Incident commander and have crews staged in the area who will work to restore power once CALFIRE determines it’s safe to enter the area.”

The utility urges customers to check for updates on power outages/restorations at

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is working to find hotels for those who show up at designated evacuation centers.

Click here for more information on evacuations.