Cal Fire battles 1st brush fire of the New Year

CHULA VISTA, Calif.  -- New Year's Day in San Diego didn’t go without its first brush fire for Cal Fire.  Five fires sparked Monday afternoon along Otay Lakes Road.

The brush fire dubbed  the “Otay Fire” was hard at work just above Otay Reservoir.

“At 4 o'clock this afternoon we had a report of multiple fires on Otay Lakes Road, the first engine at scenes found five fires, the largest being two acres,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ernie Marugg.

The other four were just east of the biggest fire and put out by two county helicopters making airdrops and multiple firefighters on the ground including Cory Iverson’s battalion. It was just last month Iverson died battling the Thomas fire.

So as crews put out hotspots well into the evening, Iverson was in their thoughts.

Meanwhile, the cause of the Otay Fire is under investigation.

“It's suspicious that we had multiple fires all at the same time, all in the same area, all on the side of the road,” said Marugg.

As the New Year begins, Cal Fire said it should be a reminder that we aren’t out of the woodwork and should never let our guard down.

“We still haven’t had any rain so just remember to be safe,” said Marugg.

Otay Lakes Road was also closed down in both direction for about three hours to allow crews to work.