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Cowboy fire burns 720 acres in San Diego County

September 2, 2010 |  9:13 pm

Firefighters were hoping to take advantage of weather conditions Thursday night in their battle to control a brush fire that scorched 720 acres in eastern San Diego County.

The blaze, which was burning near the border community of Campo, was about 10 % contained as crews reported calm winds, rising humidity and a drop in the temperatures, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Capt. Fred Daskoski said the fire had stopped its forward advance across the scrubby terrain, but he added that sunrise would bring warmer temperatures that could accelerate the spread of the fire.

"When the sun comes up tomorrow morning, it could be a new ballgame," he said.

The fire was reported about 1 p.m. between Campo and Potrero, a rugged area with tall brush.

Earlier in the day, dozens of firefighters, aided by water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing craft, were fighting the blaze. An elementary school near Campo was evacuated Thursday afternoon as a precaution, but no structures were burned, officials said.

Dubbed the Cowboy fire, the blaze is near the Pacific Crest Trail which starts  near the U.S.-Mexico border.

--Robert J. Lopez