Southern Fire
Smoke billows from a building burning in the Southern Fire. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Firefighters were battling a brush fire Sunday in Shelter Valley that has consumed approximately 5,184 acres since breaking out Saturday evening.

Containment was at 25% with strong winds of 40 to 60 mph. The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory that was in effect until 11 p.m. Sunday for the San Diego County mountains and deserts.

Approximately 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Ranch Campground. Three structures were destroyed in the fire, Cal Fire San Diego reported.

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. Resources remained available at the temporary evacuation point at Agua Caliente Campgrounds, 39545 Great Southern Overland Stage Route.

The San Diego Humane Society’s Emergency Response Team supported the county’s Department of Animal Services with animal evacuations Saturday night. They rescued rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens, officials said.

For help with animal evacuations, area residents were asked to call the Department of Animal Services at 619-236-2341.

Firefighters continued to improve the containment line Sunday afternoon, Cal Fire reported.

The fire was reported at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on the Great Southern Overland. Motorists first called the California Highway Patrol to report smoke in the area at 4:06 p.m. and Cal Fire San Diego reported the address as 14925 Great Southern Overland Stage.

By 6:38 p.m., the agency tweeted that the fire had spread to about 1,200 acres, three structures were destroyed and roughly 500 residents were evacuated from the Butterfield Ranch Campground to Agua Caliente Campgrounds.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. May 2, 2021

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