Bernardo Fire 50 Percent Contained


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The nearly 1,600-acre bush fire that is still smoldering southwest of Rancho Bernardo, California is now 50 percent contained, according to the San Diego Fire Department. City and county fire crews comprising roughly 350 firefighters pushed back twelve flare-ups Tuesday night, and there were no flames by Wednesday morning.

By 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, half of the North County fire was under control, through the combined efforts of air support and ground crews, which were eventually relieved to help battle other blazes in the area. Though, Ray Chaney of Cal Fire stated that crews remain on high alert, and commented that “weather conditions right now give us grave concern." High temperatures and winds could reignite the blazes, and the area is presently under a red flag warning through Thursday.

Chaney pointed out that fire crews came from central California and Los Angeles and Orange counties to help battle the Bernardo Fire. Two firefighters were injured - one was heat-related and the other was due to smoke inhalation.

The Bernardo Fire broke out near Del Norte High School about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, and Cal Fire Captain Kendal Bortisser said that more than 5,200 homes and businesses were evacuated during the first hours of the blaze. All evacuation orders have since been lifted.

San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey lives in the evacuation zone, and took some supplies, along with some family heirlooms. "It was a harried experience," Kersey said. "I mean, trying to figure out what you need to bring, but having been through this before in 2007 - I don't want to say we've become accustomed to it, but it wasn't the first time either."

Kersey added that residents of the area have been planning for an event like the Bernardo Fire since the 2007 San Diego fires. "When you look at the brush management policy that we put in place encouraging people to have the defensible space around their homes, that's really key because the fire can come up to your house," Kersey said, adding, "The more defensible space you have, the better your chances are that your house is going to be spared. And I think that's what we saw."

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