Stubborn wrecking yard fire spreads to brush in Chula Vista - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Stubborn wrecking yard fire spreads to brush in Chula Vista

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Scores of firefighters worked through the afternoon Thursday to quell an obstinate blaze that spread through an auto-wrecking yard near the Otay River and sparked a brush fire that spread through part of an adjacent open-space area.

Somebody working on a junked car at Pick Your Part Auto Wrecking on Energy Way in Chula Vista accidentally set the vehicle ablaze about 1 p.m., said Jim Garcia, deputy fire chief for the South Bay city's fire department.

The flames moved into an area piled high with junked cars that had been smashed in a compacting machine, igniting stacks of them and creating a column of thick black smoke.

The non-injury blaze soon entered a brushy undeveloped area to the east of the lot, Garcia said.

A contingent of about five dozen firefighters from Chula Vista, San Diego and other area agencies attacked the flames by ground and aboard a water-dropping helicopter, getting the roughly 12-acre vegetation fire under control within an hour.

The smoky fire feeding on the automotive hulks, however, was considerably more difficult to douse and persisted through the afternoon, fueled by oil, rubber, plastic and other highly flammable materials, according to Garcia. Crews hoped to have it fully subdued by early evening, the deputy chief said.

No structures were ever threatened by either component of the blaze, Garcia said.

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