Crews snuff out brush fire in North County

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Harmony Grove Brush FireSAN DIEGO — A brush fire threatened several homes in rural North County before firefighters brought it under control with ground crews and water-dropping helicopters.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. and burned about three acres west of Escondido off of Harmony Grove Road near Country Club Drive, according to officials with Cal Fire.  It burned within yards of a house at the top of a hill and destroyed at least one shed near the house before firefighters stopped the spread of flames.

Crews from CAL Fire were assisted by numerous departments including San Marcos, Escondido, North County and Elfin Forest.

At least two helicopters dumped water from nearby Lake Hodges on the blaze. By 2:40 p.m., the flames were out, but crews remained at the scene to put out hot spots.

CAL Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Lannon said fires in the “Harmony Grove” area have been a problem in the past.

“We’ve all been through a number of fires in this area,” Lannon said. “We’ve lost a number of structures. So it’s very critical for us to jump on this, keep it small, get as much equipment on it and contain it before it gets out of hand.”

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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