Crews battle series of brush fires in Alpine

ALPINE, Calif. — Firefighters battled as many as six small brush fires across difficult terrain in the Alpine area Wednesday night.

Cal Fire first reported the flames near El Capitan Reservoir around 9 p.m. Within an hour, they confirmed that as many as six spot fires had broken out in the brush. Crews had stopped all six burn areas from spreading by 11 p.m., though officials said that firefighters would remain on scene into Thursday morning.

The agency said the fires burned near El Capitan Reservoir off Peutz Valley Road, north of Interstate 8. The blazes ranged from a quarter-acre to two acres in size.

Cal Fire crews had difficulty reaching the center of the fire because of a locked gate to the reservoir and uneven terrain, San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Karla Menzies said.

As of 10:50 p.m., crews had stopped the forward rate of spread at all six burn areas, according to Cal Fire.

The largest brush fire, which burned about two-acres, broke out near the boat docks at the south end of the reservoir, Menzies said.

Around 11:15 p.m., two additional small brush fires broke out along eastbound Interstate 8 between Lake Jennings Parkway and Dunbar Lane, Cal Fire spokesman Issac Sanchez said.

The forward rate of spread for both of those blazes, which were located west of Alpine, was stopped around 15 minutes later, Sanchez said.

A San Diego County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was assisting Cal Fire crews. Sheriff’s officials said no structures were threatened.

Firefighters saw a dark-colored sedan leaving the reservoir around the time they arrived, but it was too soon to say whether anything about the fire was suspicious.