RANCHITA (NEWS 8/CNS) - A fire apparently sparked by a nighttime plane crash near Volcan Mountain in North County was 100 percent contained by a line of cleared vegetation Sunday, authorities said.
The blaze, dubbed the Volcan Fire, held at 12 acres, according to Cal Fire San Diego.
It was sparked by the plane crash, late Thursday.
Officials also confirmed the deaths of 3 people in the crash on Sunday evening, saying they were unable to recover the remains but that they will return to the site on Monday to resume recovery efforts.
Firefighters were expected to be at the scene at least until midweek due to "heavy fuels and extensive mop up required," the fire agency tweeted.
Cal Fire San Diego spokesman Issac Sanchez said he's not sure when Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators will be able to inspect the wreckage of the plane that's believed to have sparked the fire.
"The fire threat has been mitigated," he said. "But there's still an accessibility issue."
The destroyed airplane remained unidentified Sunday, though a twin- engine Beechcraft Duchess was reported overdue Thursday night when it failed to land at Ramona Airport as expected, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The missing plane is registered to Scandinavian Aviation Academy, a flight school that operates out of Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon, according to FAA records.
A resident of Julian reported seeing an aircraft apparently plunging to the ground northeast of town about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, sheriff's officials said.
Less than 30 minutes later, authorities got word of a small brush fire in the Ranchita area, Lt. Amber Baggs said.
A sheriff's helicopter crew was unable to find any plane wreckage in the darkness, and firefighters had to wait until morning to make their way to the remote canyon where the blaze was burning.
By the time they reached the site shortly after sunrise Friday morning, the flames had spread over about 10 acres, according to Cal Fire.
At about 9:30 a.m. Friday, firefighters found aircraft wreckage in the burn zone, Baggs said, but the fire prevented authorities from taking a closer look.
#VolcanFire [update] IC reports that the fire is now 100% contained. Due to the heavy fuels and extensive mop up required, firefighters are expected to continue working through mid-week. pic.twitter.com/nIFmlwmTKF— CAL FIRE SAN DIEGO (@CALFIRESANDIEGO) May 13, 2018
A clear and warm weekend as temperatures begin to warm. Humidity levels in the desert will gradually lower through the weekend as a weak ridge briefly builds Saturday.
San Diegans and tourists alike headed to the coast to take in all that the first day of fall has to offer.
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