Brush fires keep crews busy

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SAN DIEGO — Firefighters were kept busy around the county Thursday preventing a handful of fires from damaging homes.

Crews were working to contain a brush fire in the 1200 block of El Kelton Boulevard in Spring Valley that broke out around 3 p.m. The fire began in a field behind some homes and was threatening some of them, according to Kendal Bortisser with Cal Fire. By 3:30 p.m., the fire had burned about two acres, Cal Fire reported.

Earlier, a fire broke out in a heavily wooded are near Caminito Deluz and Cucha Road in Rancho Penasquitos. The fire, which was reported at about 12:45 p.m., burned up to a duplex in the Cuca Apartments before crews from the San Diego Fire Department were able to extinguish it.

“There was a lot of heat,  a lot of low humidity and a lot of vegetation that hasn’t burned for a long, long time,” said Greg Donnelly, Battalion Chief.

“We were on the freeway when we saw the flames,” said Maria Lopez.  “When we got here, we saw that it was my mom’s house”.

As the fire consumed dozens of eucalyptus and palm trees, burning embers threatened two homes.

“The roof was burning, there were flames,” said Lopez.

When fire crews arrived, they quickly put the flames out.

By 2 p.m., the fire was controlled and firefighters were mopping up hot spots. A helicopter made two water drops the help stop the blaze. In all, about 3/4 of an acre burned.

Thursday morning, crews from Cal Fire and three area fire departments fought a wind-driven brush fire that started near an SDG&E electrical substation in Lakeside.

SDG&E said the cause is under investigation.

9500 residents were left without power for several hours during the fire.

The fire burned about four acres before crews put it out. No structures were damaged.