San Diego

Inmate Firefighter Injured Battling Brush Fire in Lakeside

An inmate firefighter is in critical condition after he sustained injuries while fighting a small brush fire in Lakeside, authorities said. 

The firefighter cut his leg with a chainsaw while clearing brush, according to Cal Fire officials.

The flames broke out around 1:45 p.m. on the 13000 block of Highway 8 Business, a busy road in Lakeside near several mobile home parks, fire officials said. 

Two mobile home parks were threatened by the fire.

Lakeside Fire Chief Don Butz told NBC 7 that crews arrived to find the flames progressing up a hill. According to Heartland Fire officials, the flames burned rapidly through light fuel.

Due to the rock and steep terrain, it was difficult to get to the fire. Crews used chainsaws and shovels to "clear a fuel break," Butz said.

The fire was quickly knocked down 20 minutes after arrival at approximately a half-acre, he added.

The injured firefighter was taken to a local hospital. He is in critical condition, though the full extent of his injuries is unknown. 

Due to the humidity, Butz said firefighters were dealing with some heat strain since it's harder for them to cool off in their gear.

Several agencies, including Santee, San Miguel, and Cal Fire also responded.

There were no injuries to civilians, Butz said.

At this time, the cause of the fire is under investigation. 

No other information was available.

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