San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

Nearly 200 Vehicles Destroyed in Otay Mesa Wrecking Yard Fire

Officials said close to 200 vehicles were destroyed and only one home received exterior fire damage

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NBC 7’s Kelvin Henry has more details on the wrecking yard fire in Otay Mesa.

San Diego Fire-Rescue crews battled a fire at a wrecking yard in Otay Mesa that caused 20 nearby residents to evacuate Saturday.

The fire was reported at around noon in the backlot of a wrecking yard located on Cactus Road, south of State Route 905, San Diego Police said. The fire started near two businesses; an auto repair shop and a vehicle storage facility.

"Within that yard, we're estimating close to 200 vehicles are destroyed. From small passenger vehicles, forklifts, large recreational vehicles," said David Gerboth, SDFD Deputy Fire Chief.

Gerboth said four homes were immediately threatened by the fire. Gerboth also said there was a water supply issue that did not help, along with significant winds that made for an intense firefight.

"There was an intense firefight to defend those homes for well over an hour," said David Gerboth, SDFD Deputy Fire Chief.

Only one home suffered exterior heat damage, SDFD said.

Gerboth said there were multiple explosions due to tires, propane tanks, and engines.

Evacuations & Road Closures

Officials said they have evacuated a total of 20 residents, correcting an earlier statement that said "20 residences." All residents will be able to return to their homes once the mop-up is completed.

Cactus Road is closed between SR-905 and Siempre Viva. Airway Road is closed from Cactus to Brittania. Roads are expected to remain close through Sunday. The public is urged to take alternate routes.


SDFD said hazmat teams are on scene, and with cooperation with environmental health, conducting air monitoring to the residential areas east of the fire.

The Chula Vista Fire Department, Imperial Beach Fire, and Cal Fire San Diego assisted in the firefight.

Officials expect to stay at the scene through the night for any flare-ups.

No injuries have been reported. The Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) has been called to investigate the fire as there have been several fires in the area in the last couple of days, Gerboth said.

San Diego Fire-Rescue crews are working from the air and the ground to put out a wrecking yard fire that sparked in Otay Mesa Saturday.

No other information was available.

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