Lake Henshaw Fire Closer to Containment

Firefighters reported progress Saturday in their battle to extinguish the huge arson fire that has consumed some 3,650 acres of desert, chaparral and other brush in the rural Lake Henshaw area of Northern San Diego County.

The blaze, known as the Morettis Fire after the small community near where it began, has been the largest to date during the county's brush-fire season.

The intense blaze, which began at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, was expected to be contained by 7 a.m. today, said Audrey Hagen, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry.

Containment means that firefighters have established a line around the blaze. The fire is not expected to be extinguished until Monday morning, she said.

The only injuries reported thus far were 10 firefighters who suffered minor ailments such as smoke inhalation, various cuts, a dislocated shoulder and a broken finger, Hagen said.

On Saturday, 1,827 firefighters from throughout the area were attempting to extinguish the blaze, she said.

No homes have been destroyed, although six structures--sheds, bunkhouses and the like--have burned, Hagen said.

On Friday afternoon, residents of 20 homes in the nearby rural community of San Felipe were temporarily evacuated as a precaution. They later returned home on a standby basis.

Authorities have said that the fire was set deliberately, but no suspects have been named.

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