The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department put out a one-acre brush fire just off Interstate 5 and south of Interstate 52 Sunday.
The fire, which sparked in a canyon between Ariane and Monongahela Streets just before 5 p.m., was controlled within 45 minutes.
San Diego police evacuated four homes on Monongahela Street.
Brad Murphy and his wife Tyra live near where the fire started.
His first concern was to "make sure the family's safe, the kids are safe, my in-laws are safe."
His in-laws live only a few houses down from where the fire was located.
Murphy told NBC 7 there is a lot of dry brush around people's homes and sometimes people throw cigarettes while driving on I-5, which can spark a fire.
"We don't play around with this type of thing," he said. "We don't want to lose our family members."
Tyra Murphy said fires are one of the risks of living along a canyon.
"This isn't the first fire we've had to face," she told NBC 7. "So we already have a plan in place of the things that we need to grab quickly so we can get our family and get out the door."
Their plan of action includes getting their children, dogs and important paperwork into their car before safely getting away from any fire.
Officials are investigating what started the fire.