The West Fire in Alpine destroyed 36 homes and 29 other buildings amid last week’s record-setting heat wave, county officials announced Tuesday,
The grim tally came as the Board of Supervisors voted to extend a declaration of emergency in the aftermath of the 504-acre blaze.
The wildfire started Friday morning on the south side of Interstate 8 in the Cleveland National Forest and quickly spread to nearby residential neighborhoods.
“We had structures on fire within the first about eight minutes of the fire burning,” local Cal Fire Capt. Tony Mecham said.
At the height of the fire, 90 percent of San Diego County Fire Authority and local Cal Fire crews were deployed to fight the flames, which also damaged 18 homes and two accessory buildings, according to authorities.
A shelter set up by the American Red Cross served 91 people displaced by the fire. Additionally, the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds hosted 10 horses, three goats and three alpacas displaced by the blaze.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Cal Fire announced that the smoldering burn area of the blaze had been fully surrounded.
Though the fire has been extinguished, crews will remain at the site through the upcoming weekend to watch for and douse any flare-ups that might occur, Mecham said.
Meanwhile, the Building Fire in Dulzura destroyed one home and one other building and also damaged an accessory building. The 10-acre fire also broke out Friday.
County officials have set up an assistance center at the Alpine Library to help those affected by the fire navigate the recovery and rebuilding process.
–City News Service