EL CAJON (CBS 8) - Firefighters quickly knocked down a brush fire that burned close to home in El Cajon on Tuesday night, nearly prompting evacuations.
The fire broke out around 7:30p.m. in the 12900 block of E. Main St. and Lavala Lane, and spread to cover about three acres in only a matter of minutes. A huge plume of smoke could be seen over the East County.
"It started off real small, and just took off," said El Cajon resident Jeremy Hawkins. "The whole just exploded."
El Cajon Police prepared residents to evacuate if needed, but the order was canceled. Some residents called 911 saying the flames were burning dangerously close to their homes.
There are hiking trails in the area where the fire broke out. The ASTREA helicopter was flying overhead making announcements telling hikers to get off the trails.
Fire crews were able to knock down the blaze quickly using aerial water drops and more than a dozen engines on the ground. Firefighters were also expected to remain on the scene through Tuesday night into Wednesday morning to monitor any hotspots that could potentially flare up.
The fire chief for Lakeside Fire Protection District said this was the third brusher it has responded to just in the past three days.
"It's really indicative of a very early and very busy fire season," Chief Andy Parr told News 8.