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Update: Flames out, hot spots remain in Gopher fire

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.

A crew from the Carlsbad Fire Department’s brush company is on scene at the Gopher fire Tuesday. Photo by Tony CagalaA Carlsbad firefighter looks for hot spots to spray down with a hose. Photo by Tony CagalaA work crew hikes through the charred remains of a hillside, above them, fire safe landscaping helped to keep flames away from a nearby home. Photo by Tony CagalaA firefighter hoses down any hot spots that remain from the Gopher fire.  Photo by Tony CagalaA firefighter keeps an eye out for potential hot spots. Photo by Tony CagalaA firefighter hoses down any hot spots that remain from the Gopher fire.  Photo by Tony CagalaTwo CalFire firefighters make their way up a hillside to examine a hot spot. Photo by Tony CagalaA firefighter hoses down any hot spots that remain from the Gopher fire.  Photo by Tony CagalaFirefighter crews help to clear dry brush. Photo by Tony CagalaA Carlsbad firefighter grabs equipment from a truck. Photo by Tony CagalaA firefighter from the Carlsbad Fire Department receives some instruction before heading down to help lay more hose lines. Photo by Tony CagalaFirefighters with the Carlsbad Fire Department begin making their way down into a brushy area. Photo by Tony CagalaCrews survey a burned area, which overlooks the Welk Resort Golf Course. Photo by Tony CagalaWorker crews help to rid a pathway of dry brush on Tuesday. Photo by Tony CagalaFirefighters face steep, rocky terrain and brush 6 to 8-feet tall and dry grass during the Gopher fire. Photo by Tony Cagala

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