A brush fire along Carmel Valley Road got a little too close for comfort Sunday afternoon for residents of the Rancho Milagro housing development, at one point burning just yards away from their back doors.
The fire was reported around just before 3 p.m. near the intersection of Zinnia Hills Place and Carmel Valley Road, San Diego fire officials said.
Sixty firefighters and three helicopters from multiple departments stayed on scene for hours to prevent hot spots from spreading after seven acres were scorched over the course of one hour.
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“The fire bumped up against some structures in the beginning, but that was quickly mitigated,” said San Diego Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Raines. “No structures were damaged, no evacuations were done, and we have no injuries.”
Carmel Valley resident, Ben Carson, told NBC 7 he is just glad things weren’t worse.
“This field of dry brush in the middle of summer is concerning. I’m glad they took care of it when they did,” he said.
The cause of the fire, which spread across a field of dry brush behind the development, is still under investigation, but fire officials say they believe it may have been a criminal act.
“We've had reports that there were some people in the field when it started, but we don't know what their activities were…arson investigators are here looking into the cause,” Raines added.
As record heat bakes the southwest and an intensifying drought tightens its grip, fire officials warn of a potentially worse wildfire season than last year’s, when a record 4 million acres were scorched statewide.
“We've been in a pretty serious drought recently…so conditions definitely could have been worse,” said Raines.