Santee residents and firefighters put up a courageous fight against a Thanksgiving brushfire that crawled within feet of property lines along Walker Canyon.
The fire was reported behind homes on Magnolia Avenue at around 11:30 a.m. An OnScene.TV crew captured a resident armed with a garden hose standing his ground against flames as they closed in on his backyard.
Sign up for our Breaking news newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.
Photos: WATCH: Santee Residents, Firefighters Hold Ground as Flames Close In On Properties
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
As the rumbling of an approaching helicopter grew louder, the man backed off and looked to the sky.
"Hit it! Come on, baby! Yea!" the man screamed, as the helicopter dumped water over the blaze.
Moments later a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy came into his backyard and urged him to evacuate. A Cal Fire crew took over his post and began attacking the flames.
The fire was crawling up a hill covered in sprawling brush. Residents benefitted from a line of defensible space -- a brush-cleared, 10 to 20-foot area Cal Fire recommends having in between your home and any brush or wildland susceptible to catching fire.
Out on the street, evacuating residents were seen loading their cars with essentials while firefighters hauled hoses into backyards.
"I’m evacuating my family right now," Santee resident Carlo Kalosian told NBC 7. "I just heard the helicopter telling us to evacuate and I turned around and my whole backyard is on fire =, so we’re going to go ahead and leave."
The fire grew to 18 acres before it was knocked down at around 2:30 p.m.