Ground crews mop up Mission Trails fire

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SAN DIEGO — Dozens of firefighters dug containment lines and extinguished hot spots on a rugged mountain in the center of Mission Trails Regional Park Monday to make sure a fire that blackened about 95 acres doesn’t flare up again.

Mission Trails FirefightersParts of the popular park remained closed as crews worked towards full containment. As of Monday evening, the so-called “Trails Fire” was about 100 percent contained, SDFRD spokesman Lee Swanson said.

‘This one we got a handle on; a lot if crews did a lot of hard work and we got in front of it. We were very fortunate,” said Steve Wright with SDFRD.

Black soot now replaces the orange retardant fire crews spent Sunday pouring over parts of the mountain. To gain the upper hand, two fire helicopters carrying nearly 400-gallons of water made several drops.

The fire that broke out about 2:15 p.m. Sunday prompted authorities to close the Father Junipero Serra Trail from Gate 1 to Gate 10, along with the Mission Trails Regional Park visitor center, Climbers Loop, Oak Grove Loop and Kwaay Paay Trail, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. According to officials, the closure turned away countless visitors who frequent the trails.

“When I got to the pavement here on Father Junipero Serra trail I saw the freighters and some smoke and a sign that said opps park is closed,” said Reena Deutsch, a San Carlos resident. “Its not going to be an ugly scare for long, I think it will bounce back like Mission trails usually does.”

Mission Trails Fire Burn AreaSwanson said the firefighters were working on steep terrain with poor footing, requiring them to exercise “considerable caution.”

A firefighter sustained heat-related injuries and was taken to a hospital Sunday, Swanson said. All hikers were accounted for, and no other injuries were reported, he said.

The fire’s cause remained under investigation.

Officials expect to have the park open by Tuesday.