San Diego

Vegetation Fire Contained in City Heights

The Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) has ruled the vegetation fire sparked in City Heights on Wednesday was intentionally set.

An arson investigation was launched into the fire that sparked in a canyon near 42nd and Thorn streets in a canyon at about 1:20 p.m.

Crews were able to get the fire, dubbed the Thorn Fire by officials, out within 30 minutes. The fire never grew more than an acre in size but it left residents in the area on edge.

"As soon as I was rushing over there a cop stopped me and he’s like, ‘Oh, you know what, the fire is out. Relax. Don’t worry,'" said Alexis Flores, whose house was near the fire. "It’s a little scary, you know. A fire right behind your backyard, it’s pretty scary."

SDFD spokesperson Monica Muñoz said minors were seen running from the area where the blaze sparked, so MAST investigators believe the fire was an act of arson. 

No evacuation orders were given but officials did ask for precautionary evacuations of 20 homes, Muñoz said. 

Gabriel Banales was one of the neighbors who prepared to evacuate. He had 13 dogs including eight Husky puppies.

"So I went outside and saw the giant smoke then I ran inside and got the puppies and put them in the car, then I ran back for the rest of the dogs," said Banales. 

No homes were damaged. Crews remained on the scene to mop up. 

San Diego Fire-Rescue, Poway Fire Department, National City Fire Department, and Heartland Fire & Rescue crews responded to the scene.

MAST will continue the investigation. 

No other information was available.

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