Hillside brush fire briefly threatens homes

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SAN DIEGO — A fire of unknown origin spread up a hillside just west of Lake Hodges late Thursday afternoon, briefly threatening two homes but causing no structural damage or injuries before firefighters were able to subdue the flames.

The blaze erupted shortly before 4:30 p.m. off Toyon Canyon Road and Del Dios Highway in the rural Del Dios area, east of Rancho Santa Fe, according to Cal Fire.

Deputies closed a stretch of the latter road and evacuated the pair of endangered houses while ground crews and personnel aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters worked to extinguish the fire, said Thomas Shoots, a spokesman for the state agency.

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to stop the spread of the blaze, which blackened about three acres, Shoots said.

The road closure was expected to last into the evening hours as crews made sure all remaining hot spots were fully extinguished.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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