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Crews near full containment of Southern fire in Anza-Borrego desert

A brush fire that destroyed three homes after igniting Saturday in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was 80 percent contained Tuesday, fire officials said.

The Southern fire scorched 5,318 acres over the weekend as it prompted evacuations and destroyed the houses as well as two “accessory” buildings, according to Cal Fire San Diego officials.

The acreage total of the blaze provided by Cal Fire Tuesday evening was about 130 acres larger than previous estimates.

Cal Fire officials tweeted Tuesday morning that crews “have been working day and night, and continue to make great progress” as they dig containment lines around the burn area. As of late Tuesday morning, the fire was 65 percent contained, and 80 percent contained as of about 6:30 p.m.

The fire burned over the weekend along county Route S-2, also known as the Great Southern Overland Stage Route. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Authorities evacuated about 500 people Saturday who were staying at the Butterfield Manufactured Home and RV Community near Shelter Valley and outlying homes as gusty winds pushed the fire through brush areas.

The evacuation orders and road closures were lifted late Monday morning.

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