Crews responded to put out a blazing brush fire in San Diego's Mission Valley neighborhood, near Qualcomm Stadium.
The fire began around 6:12 p.m. near the riverbed area off Camino Del Rio North, near Qualcomm Stadium and Costco, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) officials confirmed.
The area is adjacent to a residential development on Fenton Parkway, though no evacuations were issued at the time for that development or other areas.
"My roommate came running in saying 'We've got to evacuate," said resident Val Dufour. "I'm like 'what's going on?' We walk outside and there's literally ash raining down."
Dufour said they were worried about the flames but crews were doing a good job holding the fire at bay.
"Since then, the fire department rolled in, got the choppers doing drops. Seems to be pretty much under control from what I can see," he added.
"I wasn't really scared because I knew they were already putting it out," Samantha Rios told NBC 7.
Crews worked to access the fire from all sides and conducted 12 drops of 4,000 gallons of water over the fire, according to John Fisher, Battalion Chief with SDFD.
Fire officials say they normally don't do air drops at night because of visibility issues but because of the danger to so many people's homes, they decided it was necessary.
Fisher told NBC 7 that the dry vegetation near the river fueled the 30-foot flames. There was a potential threat to structures nearby but crews were able to get a hold of the fire.
"We did receive phone calls from individuals who have encampments in the river area that they were concerned they'd get run over by the fire," he told NBC 7. "But we were able to stop progress of fire."
MTS trolley service in the area was shut down, as crews pulled hoses across the tracks to battle the flames. Trolley service has resumed service Friday morning.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was requested to respond to the scene.