San Diego County, California, Wildfire Burns Homes, Sparks Evacuations near Julian

July 4, 2014

A structure burns during a wildfire in Julian, California.

A wildfire that destroyed two homes left a Southern California mountain town without its popular Fourth of July celebrations tamed on Friday.

The fire near the historic gold mining town of Julian in San Diego County had consumed 217 acres by Friday, a day after it broke out, burned two homes and forced hundreds of evacuations that have all been called off.

But the lingering threat of the fire and the need to use roads for the firefight forced the city to take the year off from its festive Fourth of July celebration that usually draws from 3,000 to 5,000 people.

Two hundred homes were evacuated in the Kensington and Whispering Pines areas, however, residents were allowed to return by 8 p.m. Thursday.

(MORE: Wildfire Rages in Napa, California)

According to NBC San Diego, the blaze destroyed two homes and an outbuilding, and one firefighter was taken to the hospital with injuries. The firefighter’s condition was not immediately known.

There was no immediate word on what sparked the blaze.

Wildfires have repeatedly threatened Julian and surrounding areas.

"Conditions aren't unusually extreme – temperatures topped out in the upper 80s and low 90s in the Julian area today, and winds appeared to generally be between 8 and 16 mph. Humidity did dip as low as 11 percent in the morning but rose above 20 percent in the afternoon, said weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "That's dry enough to support wildfire development, but these temperature and humidity levels are not nearly as extreme as they were during the multiple wildfires in western San Diego County back in May."

An 11-square-mile fire in July 2013 destroyed more than 100 mountain cabins. The 2003 Cedar Fire burned more than 400 square miles in the county and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

MORE: April Wildfire in California

People cover their faces from smoke blowing from the wind driven Etiwanda fire burning near homes on April 30, 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, California. (Jonathan Alcorn/Getty Images)


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