Flames from the Lost Fire near Warner Springs. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A wildfire in the rugged northeastern reaches of San Diego County was 95 percent contained Wednesday morning, and firefighters hope to have it completely under control no later than Saturday, authorities said.

The so-called Lost Fire, which ignited Saturday afternoon about four miles northeast of Warner Springs in the vicinity of state Route 79 and Lost Valley Road, has charred 255 acres, Cal Fire San Diego Capt. Kendal Bortisser said.

“Crews are continuing to make great progress, and we’re cautiously optimistic as of right now that we’ll have it 100 percent contained by today and no later than tomorrow,” Bortisser said.

Prison inmates working on Cal Fire hand crews are still digging out a line around the fire, meaning they’re digging down to bare soil in order to remove all possible fuels, Bortisser said. Once the blaze is fully contained, crews will continue to monitor the site to ensure there are no hot spots likely to flare up.

The Lost Fire ignited a little after 3 p.m. Saturday, quickly scorching more than 100 acres in less than two hours, prompting voluntary evacuations Saturday night in nearby Chihuahua Valley and closing several small rural roads. All evacuation warnings were lifted and all roads were opened by Monday morning.

More than 400 firefighters from Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service fought the blaze from the ground and air, with ground crews battling “steep terrain, access problems and high temperatures,” Bortisser said earlier this week. But the crews got a boost Monday from a rainstorm that doused the region.

Firefighters had the blaze 10 percent contained Saturday night, about six hours after it was first reported. It was 40 percent contained late Sunday, 60 percent contained Monday and 85 percent contained Tuesday.

—City News Service

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