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County strike team re-routed to blaze near Mount Laguna

June 20, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

MOUNT LAGUNA — The Imperial County Strike Team was re-routed Wednesday to a fire here after the team had been released from a fire in Cajon Pass, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

El Centro Fire Chief Charles Beard said he doesn't know when the team will return home.

The strike team is made up of 25 firefighters and five engines from Calexico, El Centro, Brawley, Calipatria and Imperial County fire departments, headed by Calipatria Fire Chief Chris Hall.

The team had been sent out Tuesday shortly before 4 p.m. to a fire in Banning but was rerouted to the Bluecut Fire in Cajon Pass.

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The new fire was reported at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Kitchen Creek area in eastern San Diego County.

The fire has consumed about 1,000 acres and 20 percent of it has been contained. Three homes have been destroyed and 12 have been evacuated. About 544 firefighters are fighting the blaze. Last time that area burned was 30 years ago.

Smoke coming from the fire was visible this morning on the west side of the Imperial Valley, heading toward San Diego.

He said there was no estimated control time as of this morning and the probability of firefighters losing control of the fire is high because of high winds.

He said no fatalities and no injuries were reported this morning.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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