Officials find plane wreckage at scene of mountain wildfire

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SAN DIEGO -- Firefighters have found aircraft wreckage at the site of a roughly 12-acre wildfire burning in Ranchita, northeast of Julian, a sheriff's lieutenant says.

A 911 caller reported seeing an aircraft go down in the area Thursday evening, shortly before the blaze began spreading in a remote canyon close to Volcan Mountain, but authorities weren't able to find the remains of the plane until Friday morning.

There is no immediate word on the condition of whoever was aboard the aircraft when it went down.

Cal Fire crews worked their way toward the remote brush fire Friday morning in the rugged, mountainous area.

The fire, which was not threatening any homes, was in steep, nearly inaccessible terrain, Cal Fire San Diego officials said.

Cal Fire tweeted Thursday night that the fire was three to four acres in size and had a slow rate of spread.

On Friday, crews said the blaze had grown to about 10 acres. "Ground crews have reached the fire's edge and have begun constructing (a) containment line," Cal Fire officials tweeted at 7:30 a.m.

As of 5 p.m., the burn area had grown to roughly 12 acres and was about 30 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

The destroyed airplane remained unidentified late Friday afternoon, though a twin-engine Beechcraft Duchess was reported overdue Thursday night when it failed to land at Ramona Airport when expected, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The missing plane is registered to Scandinavian Aviation Academy, a flight school that operates out of Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon, according to an online aircraft registration roster.

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