Area charred by Southern Fire
An area charred by the Southern Fire east of Julian. Courtesy Cal Fire San Diego

Firefighters Tuesday were working to increase containment on the 5,184-acre Southern Fire in Shelter Valley east of Julian.

As of Monday afternoon, containment was reported at 55% and evacuation orders for Butterfield Ranch and the surrounding community were lifted, according to Cal Fire.

The brush fire was reported about 5:15 p.m. Saturday off the 14900 block of Great Southern Overland Stage Route. Within 90 minutes, it had spread to about 1,200 acres, leveled three structures and forced the evacuation of roughly 500 residents from Butterfield Ranch Campground to Agua Caliente Campground.

Overnight, the American Red Cross helped 32 evacuees with meals and emergency lodging in hotel rooms. By Sunday afternoon, that number had increased to 70.

No injuries have been reported.

The San Diego Humane Society supported the county Department of Animal Services with evacuations of pets and livestock — including rabbits, goats, a donkey, horses and chickens — on Saturday night.

Road closures along county Highway S-2 were also lifted Monday afternoon.

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