Crews battle 2 hillside brush fires in San Carlos

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SAN DIEGO -- Fire crews battled two hillside brush fires in San Carlos Wednesday afternoon.

“We know there were at least two. There probably were several and some of them actually burned together," said Kelly Zombro, Assistant Fire Chief, San Diego Fire Rescue.

San Diego Fire-Rescue received multiple calls about fires near the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and Jackson Drive just after 1:30 p.m. Fire crews arrived to find two spot fires near the intersections of Hemingway and Jacksonv Drives and  Tuxedo Road and Jackson Drive.

"There is a lot of fuel and some of these areas don’t have a lot of burn history and so this stuff accumulates and so when it does burn, it can be very hot and long-lasting," said Zombro.

Two air tankers from the CAL FIRE air base in Ramona were requested to fight the fires, which were buring in light to medium fuel, said SDFD spokeswoman Monica Munoz. However, the incident commander canceled the aircraft by 2 p.m.  when crews stopped the forward progress of the fires, she said.

One fire blackened about one acre and the other burned about half an acre, said Munoz. No nearby homes were damaged, but residents watched with concern as the flames raced towards homes.

"A little too scary," said Susan Upchurch.  "That hill is kind of a mixed blessing. It’s beautiful here and we have this amazing view, but we are vulnerable to fires on that hill."

The fires broke out a day before a red flag warning was set to go into effect. Forecasters say there will be dangerous fire conditions on Thursday.

"Every time I hear that red-flag warning, I think back to the Cedar Fire, but all we can do is keep it cleared as possible," said Upchurch. She said thanks to the quick work of firefighters, Wednesday's fires turned out to be nothing but a close call.

"I’m kind of thinking of changing plans and staying home this weekend," she said.  "I just wouldn’t want to be away from home if something is going on."

No injures were reported and no structures were damaged, said Munoz.

Firefighters were expected to be on scene for about 3 hours. The total area burned was less than an acre. The cause of the fires is under investigation.


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