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Valley Fire scorches thousands of acres, prompting more evacuations

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Posted at 6:50 AM, Sep 07, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The Valley Fire continued to burn overnight in East County as evacuations remain in place.

So far, the blaze has scorched 17,345 acres and is 3% contained, as of 6:20 p.m. on Monday. Authorities with the Cleveland National Forest tweeted Monday that the fire had only grown by 408 acres overnight.

Monday morning, Cal Fire said new evacuation orders were in place for the areas of Corral Canyon off-road area, Bobcat Meadows, and Los Pinos.

Evacuation orders have also been issued for Barrett Lake Dam, while evacuation warnings have been issued for Lake Marina, Dulzura, Dog Patch, Potrero, Campo, Honey Springs, Barrett Junction, Dearhorn Valley, Corte Madera, Pine Valley, and the area from Lyons/Japatul Valley Rd. to the 8 Freeway.

Evacuation centers have been set up at Steele Canyon High School at 2440 Campo Road and Joan MacQueen Middle School at 2001 Tavern Road.

Cal Fire said Sunday night that 11 habitable structures and 25 outbuildings have so far been destroyed in the fire. Two people have so far been injured, the agency said.

Cal Fire said Monday it will exercise an agreement it has with the Navy’s Third Fleet and the First Marine Expeditionary Force. Military aircraft will be used to help fight the Valley Fire.

RELATED COVERAGE

The Jamul-Dulzura Union School District said it would cancel school Tuesday, September 8 due to the Valley Fire, evacuation orders, and power outages in East County. Mountain Empire Unified School District schools will shift to asynchronous classes on Sept. 8 due to power outages in parts of the community. Potrero Elementary will not have staff onsite due to extended power outages.

Governor Gavin Newsom Sunday declared a state of emergency for San Diego County and other counties impacted by wildfires. The declaration paves the way for federal funds to be used in response to the fires.

The blaze also knocked out power to thousands of people throughout North County, with San Diego Gas and Electric saying they will work with CalFire to bring power back to affected customers.

Air quality throughout parts of San Diego County plummeted Sunday. The County Air Pollution Control District said air quality in areas affected by smoke may reach unhealthy levels, compelling the agency to issue a smoke advisory.

The fire began Saturday near Sprint Trail and Japatul Road southeast of Alpine before 3 p.m.