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One dead, 40 homes destroyed by major fire burning in Niland near Salton Sea

Courtesy: EL CENTRO FIRE DEPT.
Courtesy: EL CENTRO FIRE DEPT.

Imperial County Firefighters were battling a major fire in Niland on the east side of the Salton Sea early Monday morning. By sunrise, the firefighters dispatched from numerous nearby agencies had mostly contained the blaze.

One body was found Monday in the fire damage and authorities were investigating, according to the Calipatria Fire Chief.

Courtesy: EL CENTRO FIRE DEPT.

No other injuries to civilians or firefighters had been reported as of Monday at noon.

Crews said they were planning to be on scene for many hours mopping up and monitoring hot spots.

Firefighters said the wind-driven flames had destroyed more than 40 homes overnight as police were moving from home to home looking for residents in the area of Highway 111 and 4th Street.

The fire was burning just off of Highway 111 in the small lakeside town. It reportedly first broke out as a brush fire shortly before 7:43 p.m. Sunday.

Imperial County issued evacuation orders to residents and was urging people to stay away from the area.

Mutual aid requests from Imperial County Fire drew outside fire support from the El Centro and Yuma Fire Departments.

Courtesy: EL CENTRO FIRE DEPT.

The Calipatria Fire Chief said 150 people had been displaced due to the fire. Imperial and San Diego County units were expected to respond to the fire and patrols will be in the area the next few days to prevent any possible flare-ups.

The Red Cross said it was helping dozens of families that were forced from their homes due to the fire providing them with vouchers for hotels and motels.

The relief organization was also providing support services to firefighters and other first responders. A temporary evacuation center was set up at Calipatria High School, according to a Red Cross Tweet. The Red Cross urged people impacted by the fire to call 855-891-7925 for assistance.

There was no updated number of acres burned Monday morning, any injuries, or the fire's cause.

A damage assessment team was expected to be in Niland Monday morning. The Imperial County Public Health Department said it was waiting for updates from IID regarding how long it would take to get power back on.

Courtesy: EL CENTRO FIRE DEPT.

A power outage was also reported at 2:53 a.m. affecting 571 customers in the area.

This is a breaking news update. Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for updates.

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Jeff Stahl

You can watch Jeff every weekday morning on News Channel 3 in the Morning and News Channel 3 at Noon. Learn more about Jeff here.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.

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