San Diego

Firefighters Extinguish Series of Spot Fires in Valley Center

Firefighters quickly extinguished a series of spot fires burning in Valley Center Monday. 

The four small brush fires sparked along Old Castle Road, east of Interstate 15, Cal Fire officials said. 

The largest of the spot fires was 20 feet by 50 feet. Crews quickly put out the flames.

"Extra staffing, a lot of extra units in the area, that definitely helped," said Captain Joe Basinkski with Valley Center Fire Protection.

No one was injured and there was no structural damage.

The road -- closed briefly as crews battled the flames -- has since reopened.

This week’s hot temperatures have all firefighters on-call in Valley Center, prepared to backfill positions in case of a large fire.

Roadside fires are occurring more often this year because of the dry brush and dead grass along roadways. The wet winter created so much vegetation which has now dried out and became fuel for fires, according to fire officials.

"Grass drives fires," said Cal Fire Captain Issac Sanchez. "It’s been reflected in the numbers and it’s been reflected in the fires we’re catching in San Diego specifically."

Statewide to date Cal Fire has responded to 4,626 fires for 219,476 acres--up significantly from last year’s numbers of 3,525 fires for 200,333 acres.

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