SAN DIEGO – A hawk carrying a snake sparked a brush fire Tuesday morning after it hit a power line and was electrocuted, a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman said.
The hawk hit the power line around 5:45 a.m., at which point it fell to the ground and sparked a blaze along a hillside near Dunhill Street, SDFRD spokesman Lee Swanson said.
“Fire was caused by a hawk that hit the high voltage power line, caught fire, and fell to the ground,” Swanson said. “While that is not that unusual, it is an indication of how very dry the conditions are that it was able to spread as quickly as it did.”
Around 40 firefighters had to contend with the hill’s steep terrain while putting out the fire, which spread to about four acres, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. A helicopter helped crews knock down the blaze around 6:45 a.m.
No buildings were evacuated and no roads were shut down. More than 400 San Diego Gas & Electric customers were without power, and power was restored later in the morning, according to the utility company.
Firefighters remained on the hillside throughout the morning spraying hot spots. No one was hurt.
Fire investigators estimate $10,000 damage to SDG&E equipment.