An eerie calm has descended near the evacuated mountain town of Julian.

Where the fire has already burned through to the west of Julian on Witch Creek, reconstruction is beginning with San Diego Gas & Electric crews working on power lines and power pole replacement.

But to the northwest at Mesa Grande, all eyes are on the wind. It’s currently blowing fire west toward the coast, but officials fear it will turn around like it did in the 2003 Cedar Fire. The western horizon is filled with distant smoke.

“They’re worried about the wind coming back on us,” said Jeff Geary, a San Diego Harbor police officer, who is standing guard near a smoky controlled burn atop Mesa Grande. “From feeling it, the wind hasn’t switched here. They say if it switches, it could be an hour” away from Julian.


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