San Diego

2 Santee Homes Evacuated as Trees Burn Nearby

A tree fire sparked in a residential neighborhood of Santee Thursday and gusty winds prompted warning signs along Interstate 8 — both as East County was in the midst of a red flag warning. 

Residents were evacuated from their Santee homes Thursday as a tall landscaping trees separating properties on the 1300 block of Hornbuckle Drive caught fire at about 1:20 p.m. Thursday.

San Diego Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) deputies evacuated the homes as a precaution, SDSO said.

Neighbors told NBC 7 that Santee firefighters and the Sheriff's Department arrived quickly. 

The tree fire did scorched the roof of one home, but did not cause significant damage. The trees were blackened and smoke was rising as crews worked to put out the blaze, footage of the scene showed.

Two homes in Santee were evacuated Thursday after a row of trees that separates the properties caught on fire.

It was not clear what sparked the blaze Thursday, but San Diego was in the midst of a red flag fire warning due to low humidity and strong winds. 

During periods when a red flag warning is in effect, any fires that ignite have the potential of spreading rapidly. 

In Alpine, warning signs were placed along roadways as gusty winds ramped up Thursday afternoon. They served as a reminder to East County residents that fire weather is year round. 

Last week during another red flag warning period, a blaze dubbed the Lilac Fire sparked near the Interstate 5/State Route 76 junction, spreading to approximately 500 acres in about 20 minutes.

The Lilac Fire burned 4,100 acres and was 96 percent contained Thursday. 

 No other information was available.

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