West Fire Destroys 57 Structures in Alpine, East of San Diego

1 min
Flames from the West Fire burn a home near Alpine on July 6, 2018. (Matt Hoffman/KPBS)

As fire lines were established Sunday around 92 percent of the West Fire -- a blaze that swept through the eastern part of Alpine, a community about 30 miles east of San Diego on Interstate 8 -- the confirmed number of structures lost in the blaze jumped to 57.

The 505-acre fire destroyed 34 residential buildings, 22 outbuildings and a commercial building as of Sunday afternoon, Cal Fire San Diego said. It also damaged another 15 residential buildings and five outbuildings.

Evacuation orders were lifted in their entirety on Monday, as firefighters and government workers were able to survey the damage safely.

The blaze began about 11:15 a.m. Friday on the south side of Interstate 8, at West Willows Road, east of Alpine, according to Cleveland National Forest officials. The wind-stoked flames soon reached a "critical" rate of spread, Cal Fire reported.

On Friday, television helicopters showed large tile-roofed homes, residential trailers and small outbuildings engulfed in fire.

Sponsored

The California Report's John Sepulvado spoke with the manager of the Alpine Oaks Mobile Estates, where multiple homes were destroyed:

West Fire Destroys 57 Structures in Alpine, East of San Diego

West Fire Destroys 57 Structures in Alpine, East of San Diego

Download

Crews from various local agencies attacked the blaze on the ground and aboard water- and retardant-dropping aircraft while braving midday heat measured by the National Weather Service at 108 degrees.

One crew member suffered minor burn injuries to his face while battling the blaze, and had been expected to remain hospitalized overnight, Cal Fire said.

At the height of the blaze, about 3,500 homes and businesses in Alpine were without power, according to San Diego Gas & Electric. Some of those addresses are served by a circuit that the utility decided to deactivate as a precaution, and the rest lost service due to fire-related equipment damage, SDG&E spokesman Wes Jones said Friday.

Power had been restored by Sunday afternoon to 510 customers out of 640 who lost power, according to SDG&E.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the area late Friday.

The gubernatorial decree cleared the way for the state to provide immediate disaster assistance to the county. It also allows for expedited unemployment benefits for anyone who lost a job due to the blaze and waives fees for replacement of documents — including birth certificates, marriage licenses and vehicle titles — lost to the flames.

Volume
KQED Live
Live Stream
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
Live Stream information currently unavailable.
Share
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
KQED Live

Live Stream

Live Stream information currently unavailable.