Brush fire knocks out power, frays nerves in 4S Ranch - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Brush fire knocks out power, frays nerves in 4S Ranch

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4S RANCH (CBS 8) - Firefighters from the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD), along with firefighters from the city of San Diego, Encinitas, and Cal-Fire, knocked down a fire near Old Course Road and Maranatha Drive in 4S Ranch.

It broke out on Wednesday just before 5 p.m. beneath power lines in a vegetation field.  Fire officials asked SDG&E to shut off power to the area, for the safety of the crews. Nearly 700 homes and businesses were in the dark for about 2 hours.

The fire was fueled by Santa Ana winds blowing at about 15 mph.

Maranatha Christian School, which was hosting a volleyball game, was evacuated as a precaution. Principal Pete Plotnik told CBS8, "The fire was to the north of the property, and just like in 2007, burning on the hill behind us."

The 2007 fires destroyed homes over the hill in 4S Ranch. Plotnik reflected that Wednesday night's fire seemed to moved a little faster and closer than the 2007 fires, saying, "It brought back some scary moments." Fortunately, firefighters were able to contain the flames in about 30 minutes, keeping the fire at 5 to 8 acres.

A sewer treatment facility was briefly threatened, but firefighters were able to protect it.

Battalion Chief Bret Davidson with Rancho Santa Fe Fire District told CBS8, "The nice thing about the treatment facility, is that it's concrete with a chain linked fence. There are not a lot of combustibles there, so we were mainly worried about getting a line between the fire and the school... Then we wanted to make sure it didn't jump the road with the wind up here."

No homes were threatened and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Davidson said work crews, either utility or construction, were seen on the hill earlier in the day, but did not know yet if their activity had anything to do with sparking the fire.

Maranatha was able to host its volleyball game after a brief delay.

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