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San Diego skirting fire danger for now

Lawson Valley Fire
Posted at 9:31 PM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 09:21:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two fires sparked Saturday afternoon in East County, in addition to a thunderstorm in Pine Valley, created dicey conditions for firefighters.

Cal Fire Captain Thomas Shoots said the humidity made a huge difference, "the monsoonal moisture the stickiness has been good because it's helped keep our fires small," slowing the spread of flames.

The Bratton Fire sparked in Lawson Valley around 1:30 p.m. and scorched 4 acres. Then around 2:10 p.m., the Sloane Fire started burning in Dehesa, blackening 18 acres.

Both were knocked down quickly.

"We hope that people don't get complacent that we've hit these fires very aggressively and it's worked out," Shoots said.

He said if we didn't have the humidity we would be in trouble, "there's a lot of fuel that comes with a good winter so that grass crop is all cured out and ready to burn."

Shoots said they were keeping their eye on the thunderstorm in Pine Valley.

The National Weather Service reported a severe thunderstorm warning with quarter-sized hail and gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

"We knew it wasn't going to be to the extent that the north saw when the storms rolled through but it was still definitely a potential concern," Shoots said.

Looking forward, Shoots says we need to be very careful, "San Diego and a good chunk of California is sitting at a higher potential for wildfire activity in October-November."

He advises creating defensible space around your home not only to protect your home but protect your family if you can't escape in time.

Shoots said he hopes firefighters are able to get a handle on the fires in Northern California and stay safe.

He said 96% of all Cal Fire engines are working, which shows how extreme this fire season is.

More than half of Cal Fire San Diego's resources have been sent up north to help, including 32 engines. Shoots says local fire departments are stepping up to help in their absence.