Cal Fire Reports 365-Acre Blaze Near Safari Park 95% Contained

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Fire trucks on Route 78 in the San Pasqual Valley. Courtesy Cal Fire

A wildfire that erupted Friday near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, scorching 365 acres, was 95 percent contained as of 6 a.m. Monday.

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Crews will remain in the area, setting lines of containment around all the charred terrain and making sure all hot spots are snuffed out, according to Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez.

As of 5:53 p.m. Saturday, all evacuation orders were lifted.

The blaze started for unknown reasons shortly before 1:30 p.m. Friday off the 17000 block of state Route 78 in the San Pasqual Valley, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Within 90 minutes, the blaze had burned across more than 200 acres, forcing residential evacuations and the shutdown of part a rural highway, as ground and airborne crews scrambled to corral the fast-moving flames.

By 7:30 p.m. Friday, the fire’s progress was halted and most of the active flames were doused, CalFire said.

As the flames spread rapidly to the southeast, authorities shut down state Route 78 between Bandy Canyon and Ramona Highlands roads as a safety precaution and to expedite the firefighting operations in the rural area, according to Cal Fire and state transportation officials.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday all road closures along Highway 78 in the area of the fire have been lifted, Cal Fire San Diego said.

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Sheriff’s deputies cleared people out of homes potentially in the path of the fire. Vacated areas include neighborhoods along Via Cuesta; Via Vista Grande; Prestige Street; Day Star Way; Oak Grove, Rancho Villa, Rangeland, Rustic Villa and Weekend Villa roads; and Cinque Terre, Corniglia, Highland Hills, Horizon View and Rio Maggiore drives.

So far, the blaze has not caused any structural damage or injuries.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

— City News Service

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