High winds cause big trouble for firefighters in two brush fires - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

High winds cause big trouble for firefighters in two brush fires

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) – A possible arson fire scorched about 12 open acres in the Black Mountain Ranch area Wednesday amid dry, breezy weather conditions, authorities reported.

The non-injury blaze erupted in a hilly area off Camino del Sur and San Dieguito Road shortly before 9 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

It took about 60 firefighters and crews aboard two helicopters about an hour to fully extinguish the flames, which never threatened any structures, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said. The nearest homes were about a quarter-mile from the burn area, and mostly upwind of it, he said.

Dry Santa Ana gusts up to about 30 mph stoked the fire, according to Luque.

"Those winds did push the fire ahead of our crews. Our crews did catch up with it. We had the luxury of having two helicopters available," San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Maurice Luque said.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation. A witness reported seeing a man attempting to stomp out a small fire, then flee when it started to spread.

Meanwhile, a brush fire that was burning near Harrah's Rincon Casino in Valley Center Wednesday morning has been knocked down after burning under an acre. The fire began at around 6 a.m. when and was sparked by a downed power line.

According to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler, fire crews were lucky to stop the spread of the blaze in the area, which has seen much larger, more destructive fires in the past.

"This is an area where we've seen very large, devastating fires. We were very fortunate that we were able to stop this fire at just a quarter-acre," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Schuler said.

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