Lightning Sparks Brush Fire in Pine Valley

The fire sparked after lightning hit a tree in a creek bed, officials said

A lightning strike sparked a brush fire in a creek bed in Pine Valley Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service confirmed.

The blaze began just after 2 p.m. at Kitchen Creek Road and Mile Marker 2, about two miles north of Interstate 8, after lightning struck a tree. Officials said the small fire, which scorched about a half-acre of land, was difficult to access due to the terrain and its remote location.

Just before 3 p.m., U.S. Forest Service officials said the fire was burning at a slow rate of spread. Firefighters hiked into the area on foot to knock out the blaze, which was contained at 5:25 p.m. Aircraft assistance was canceled, officials said.

No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered.

Pine Valley was experiencing heavy rain, thunder and lightning at the time of the brush fire.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning through 6:30 p.m. in parts of San Diego County mountains and deserts where rain was expected Thursday.

The NWS said radar estimated rainfall in excess of one inch west of Pine Valley near Interstate 8 as of 2:30 p.m., with additional heavy rainfall expected.

Areas that could experience flooding include Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and I-8 between Pine Valley and Boulevard.

NBC 7 meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said monsoon moisture would bring a chance for strong thunderstorms that could produce heavy rain, lightning, small hair and strong winds locally. She said there was a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms in the mountains, a 40 percent chance at the desert and a 20 percent chance at the coast and inland.

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