SAN YSIDRO, Calif. – A fire broke out early Monday morning near the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in the South Bay, prompting firefighters and highway patrol officers to shut down most southbound lanes just a little north of the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said.
The blaze erupted about 5:05 a.m. off the west side of the freeway near Dairy Mart Road near the Nestor and San Ysidro neighborhoods, California Highway Patrol Officer Tommy Doerr said.
The first crews to arrive reported finding a 20-foot-by-20-foot vegetation fire that appeared to be burning near a homeless camp, a firefighter told a dispatcher. Because the flames were hard to access and growing, the initial crew requested support, and by about 5:30 a.m., officials dispatched a helicopter, several engines, a brush rig, a water tender and other fire crews and vehicles, according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department report.
Firefighters were gathering on the southbound freeway lanes to battle the blaze and requested the CHP to shut down all southbound lanes of the freeway, Doerr said. Initially, the far left lane remained open, allowing cars to pass, but by 5:45 a.m., all vehicles were being detoured off the freeway at Dairy Mart Road.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but no vehicles were involved, Doerr said.