Update: Flames out, hot spots remain in Gopher fire

Update: Flames out, hot spots remain in Gopher fire
A CalFire official observes a burned out area at the Gopher fire on Tuesday. Photo by Tony Cagala

REGION — Flames from two separate fires that were burning in close proximity to one another have been extinguished with only hot spots remaining, according to one CalFire official at the scene on Tuesday.

On Monday, a little after 3 p.m., CalFire and fire departments from around North County began fighting the fires, which is being referred to as the Gopher fire, along the southbound side of Interstate 15 near Gopher Canyon Road, in between Valley Center and Escondido.

At the start of the blaze, firefighting efforts received support from the air with a number of air tankers and helicopters.

As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, 25 acres had burned and the blaze was zero percent contained, according to CalFire Capt. Issac Sanchez.

Crews fought the blaze overnight.

On Tuesday morning, the fire remained at 25 acres and was 25 percent contained, Sanchez said.

Four to five agencies are continuing efforts, including Carlsbad, Encinitas and San Marcos fire departments today with help from Orange County.

“We’re going to have approximately 10 fire engines and six hand crews assigned plus four water tenders,” Sanchez said.

Air support wasn’t assigned to the fire for Tuesday, but Sanchez said they are available if needed.

Firefighters are facing 6 to 8-foot brush and dry grass along a steep and rocky terrain in that area of the fire.

On Monday, three homes were threatened by the fire with two of those being evacuated. All evacuation orders had been lifted.

The fire had closed all lanes of the southbound I-15 Monday afternoon. By Monday night two lanes were opened on the southbound side. The northbound lanes had remained open.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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