A bulldozer on the fire line north of Tecate. Courtesy OnScene.TV
A bulldozer on the fire line north of Tecate. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Updated at 8:35 P.M., Sunday June 19

CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies rushed to evacuate Portrero residents and ranchers from a brushfire that broke out just before noon Sunday north of the Tecate.

The fire has burned 1,500 acres, according to a Cal Fire spokesperson.

Capt. Kendall Bortisser of Cal Fire said more than 250 crew members were dispatched to battle the blaze. KFMB reported that along with Cal Fire, crews from the city of El Cajon and U.S. Navy were called out.

Smoke billows from the fire north of Tecate. Courtesy of UCSDE HPWREN Network
Smoke billows from the fire north of Tecate on Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of UCSD HPWREN Network

Bortisser said an evacuation center, offering shelter to those needing it, has been set up  at the Campo Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road. According to a KFMB report, the Red Cross has also offered to help residents.

CHP dispatchers began getting calls just after 11 a.m. about heavy smoke and fire north of Route 94 near the Highway 188 cutoff to the Tecate border crossing, about 45 miles east of downtown San Diego.

Route 94 was closed from Route 188 to Potrero Valley Road, Bortisser said. Cal Fire officials added that no traffic was allowed on Route 188 between the border and Route 94.

Along with the blaze itself  and 100-plus degree weather, firefighters had to deal with winds up to 16 mph, as the day progressed.

Earlier Sunday, Cal Fire said that crews made progress from the ground and air.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.