Crews battle 2 brush fires within 2 miles of each other

SAN DIEGO -- Two brush fires broke out across the span of about two miles in San Diego Wednesday evening.

The larger blaze burned in a brush-filled area off Carmel Mountain Road and Canter Heights Drive around 5:30 p.m.

A San Diego Fire-Rescue helicopter dropped water on the flames, and by about 6 p.m. ground crews had moved in and extinguished the bulk of the fire.

A local resident who's home backed up to the fire called 911 and even let crews use his backyard to better access the fire.

"They were parked at the end of the street and started running down the sidewalk so we opened up the garage and I said come right through our backyard because it’s right below us," said Jeff Bigelow.

The Carmel Valley blaze came a short time after crews handled a small brush fire in Sorrento Valley. That fire burned along Calle Cristobal and Camino Santa Fe. A fire engine quickly arrived and extinguished those flames.

Crews remained at both scenes into the evening to handle hot spots and keep the fires from flaring back up.

The fires broke out just after the expiration of a red flag warning for extreme fire danger and some portions of the county faced power outages and school closures.

Just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, fire officials determined the fire at Calle Cristobal and Camino Santa Fe fire was caused by pieces of a catalytic converter. A small fire in that area Tuesday was also believed to be started as a result of pieces of the catalytic converter.
A cause for the fire at Carmel Mountain Road and Canter Heights Drive is still being investigated.