City News Service
11:28 AM PDT, May 27, 2012
SHELTER VALLEY -- More than 950 firefighters were working Sunday to contain a wildfire that has burned about 4,100 acres east of Julian since Thursday afternoon.
The blaze, which started in the Cigarette Hills area of eastern San\ Diego County near Banner Grade, grew quickly due to strong winds Thursday afternoon.
As of this morning, the fire was about 65 percent contained, or surrounded, and had burned about 4,100 acres, according to Cal Fire, which projected full containment sometime Monday and to have full control of the blaze Wednesday.
Cal Fire officials said minimal fire activity occurred overnight. Firefighters continued to work to construct a line around the fire and to extinguish isolated hot spots within its perimeter, officials said.
Nearly 50 fire crews were working with 73 engines, seven water-dropping helicopters and a couple of airtankers and bulldozers to quench the flames. The cause, if known, has not been disclosed.
Cal Fire officials estimated the cost to suppress the fire at $2 million.
So far, no structures have burned, though shortly after the fire started, authorities evacuated people from about 100 Shelter Valley homes in its path. Those residents were allowed to go home Thursday night.
About 50 people at the Stage Coach Trails RV Resort at the south end of Shelter Valley were evacuated Friday afternoon but the order was lifted later that evening.
The fire also prompted authorities to close parts of state Route 78 and Route S2 at times, but both had since been reopened.
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