San Diego

Firefighters Quickly Put Out Otay Mesa Brush Fire

The fire created a large amount of smoke near the U.S.-Mexico border

Smoke could be seen in the air over the South Bay after a fire sparked on Palm Avenue in Otay Mesa Wednesday morning.

The fire was originally reported at 10:42 a.m. as a 20-foot square area in a canyon just a few miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border between Interstate 5 and Interstate 805. 

By 11:08 a.m., firefighters had the fire under control and were able to knock it down before it traveled with the Santa Ana winds.

Winds in the area were measured at 14 mph with gusts up to 20 mph, according to NBC 7 weather anchor Whitney Southwick.

He said temperatures in the area of the fire were reported to be 96 to 98 degrees.  

At this time the cause of the fire is under investigation but firefighters found trash and aerosol cans under the bridge.

"Those aerosol cans, if they did explode at the wrong time at the wrong place, it could reignite a fire we were on," said Kelly Zombro, Deputy Fire Chief Shift Commander for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

SDFD Fire Caption John Liscum said their top priority after safety is speed--especially with the winds moving so fast.

Firefighters try to stop brush fires before they reach 5-acres, Liscum said.

"When it's multiple days in a row such as it has been, the fuel moisture and the vegetation is so low that it doesn't take much to get these fires moving and moving quickly," Liscum said.

The county was still under an excessive heat warning Wednesday as well as a fire weather warning. High temperatures are expected to be 95-102 degrees, except near the coast where we could see temperatures in the 80s to lower 90s.

The fire weather warning was issued until 6 p.m. Wednesday evening for the mountains in our East County and North County.

No other information was available.

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