Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Two Fires Engulf Home, Brush

Fires Spark Concern


Last updated 5/23/2024 at 9:45am

Two fires broke out on the afternoon of May 22, taking place just a little over a mile apart within an hour of each other.

Units responded to a vegetation fire and a residential fire in Borrego Springs.

The first fire was reported at 3:15 p.m., as Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire Protection District Units, as well as Park Rangers arrived at the scene in the area of the old A Motel, at the crossroads of Saint Vincent Drive and Lazy S, not too far from Borrego Springs Middle/High School.

The fire spread quickly onto vegetation due to the strong winds at the time, posing a threat to the nearby homes. The fire was stopped at five acres with over 60 firefighters fighting on the scene.

Crews managed to get the fire under control and extinguished within an hour, but remained on the scene to douse the area in case of continued sparks. The road remained closed and detours were put in place. Residents were also informed of a possible evacuation of the area.

After 4 p.m., another call was received of a residential fire that occurred at 436 Sun and Shadows Drive. As the duplex was engulfed by flames, the residents of the home managed to escape, John and Pam Sherrill, as well as son John Jr. and family dog Harley. The fire managed to also partially destroy the home of neighbors Cesar Garcia and Alyssa.

The American Red Cross was called for assistance, but with the teamwork of a great Borrego Community, all hands were on-deck to help these local families.

The cause of these fires are still under investigation. According to CalFire Captain Mike Cornette, there is currently no immediate indication that the fires' origins are related.


The Borrego Minister's report on the local fire tragedy: John and Pam Sherrill lost everything yesterday afternoon. Mitzi is opening the Bargain Barn this morning to see if there’s anything they need to get them through this difficult time. Linda and Mel have offered a small apartment, Chris and ChrisAnn have offered a trailer if they need living accommodations. Currently, they’re in a motel. I understand they lost their cell phones in the fire as well so there’s no easy way to contact them.

The next door neighbors in the duplex are also in need – Cesar Garcia and Alyssa. They too will be at the Bargain Barn this morning.

The BMA will be consulting with the two families to determine what support they need going forward.


Your donations to the BMA are deductible and are used 100% in the local community. You can designate if you want the donation to be used for a specific local crisis.