A sheriff’s deputy monitors the Valley Fire on Sunday. Courtesy San Diego Sheriff

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department admonished members of the public Sunday who were impeding traffic while they took selfies with the Valley Fire in the background.

The department said in a Twitter post Sunday just before noon that “looky-loos” pulling over on Dehesa and Japatul Roads, as well as Lyons Valley Road, to photograph the fire were creating a serious traffic hazard for firefighters driving in and out of the area “just for a few social media likes.”

The rural roads in the area are narrow, and the stopped cars are blocking access.

“You’re delaying fire engines and trucks because they have to slow down when you’re blocking already tight roadways to fire zones,” the Tweet reads. “These roads are also evacuation pathways. Please have some empathy for those who have been affected by the #ValleyFire.”

According to Cal Fire San Diego, as of about 4 p.m. Sunday the Valley Fire covers 5,350 acres, is 1% contained and is burning at a critical/dangerous rate of spread. Structures are in danger of burning in several areas.

An evacuation warning has been issued, with residents being advised to evacuate to Steele Canyon High School or Joann MacQueen Middle School if an order is issued.

The large animal temporary evacuation point is the County Animal Services South County Shelter at 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita.

— Staff report

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