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Cal Fire battling 60-acre blaze near Tecate Port of Entry; evacuation warnings issued

A brushfire broke out Thursday afternoon near the Tecate Port of Entry, burning about 60 acres in a little more than an hour and prompting some evacuation warnings in Tecate, authorities said.

The flames were first reported about 1:45 p.m. north of the United States-Mexico border and south of Tecate Mission Road, a gravel and dirt road running parallel to the border, according to Cal Fir spokesman Capt. Thomas Shoots.

The blaze was first reported at 20 acres, but had grown to about 60 acres by 3 p.m., Cal Fire officials said.

Evacuation warnings were issued for the “nearby Tecate community,” Cal Fire officials tweeted. The temporary evacuation point was Potrero Elementary School.

The flames destroyed one outbuilding, but officials reported making good progress from the ground and air. By 3 p.m. the blaze was 5 percent contained.

Cal Fire officials tweeted that the blaze was initially burning at a moderate rate. Shoots said it was burning toward the port of entry and was “relatively close” to the border-crossing, though crews were confident they’d be able to hold it off from reaching the area.

Two helicopters, two airplanes and 10 engines were immediately sent to battle the flames, Shoots said. Another two aircraft and 10 more engines were headed there as of 2:45 p.m.

Helicopter footage from 10News showed the outbuilding engulfed in flames and spewing thick black smoke into the sky.

Cal Fire said the blaze remained on the U.S. side of the border and had not crossed into the Mexican city that’s also named Tecate.

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