San Diego County wildfire advance slows

A wildfire that has burned more than 21 square miles of grass, brush and timber slowed its advance through the backcountry of northeastern San Diego County Wednesday. Still, hot weather and low humidity pose a challenge for firefighters trying to surround it.

The week-old blaze on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation was 55 percent contained after burning 13,900 acres of grass, brush, oak and pine on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and Anza Borrego Desert State Park, state fire officials said.

No homes were threatened.

More than 2,100 firefighters were on the scene, aided by 18 bulldozers and 27 aircraft. Twelve firefighters had minor injuries since the blaze began, mostly heat exhaustion.

The fire was burning east and northwest through steep, rugged terrain.

"The fire's spread to the east has slowed considerably. The northern portion continues to burn in heavy vegetation through an area with no known fire history," according to a statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze was not expected to threaten any structures or populated areas, but afternoon winds could send smoke into the eastern Coachella Valley and the community of Borrego Springs.

About 500 miles to the north in Calaveras County, an 83-acre blaze forced the temporary evacuation of three homes east of the town of San Andreas. The fire was reported Monday afternoon in an area of rocky hills and heavy brush about 50 miles northeast of Stockton. It was 90 percent contained Tuesday evening.

© 2011 The Associated Press.

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