A small brush fire broke out in the thickets of the San Diego River near a transient camp in Mission Valley on Saturday.
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"The fire, primarily of bamboo, was in a 20-foot by 30-foot area in the San Diego River bed about 12:30 a.m.," said Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire- Rescue Department spokesman. "It's a chronic problem related to transients living in the riverbed either intentionally, or unintentionally, setting fires to keep warm or whatever. It's a nuisance."
The fire was near the Archstone Mission Valley luxury apartment complex in the 2200 block of Fenton Parkway. However, the complex was never threatened by the burning brush, Luque said.
Luque said five fire engines with about 20 firefighters responded.
"The blaze was knocked down within 45 minutes," he said
There were no injuries. Firefighters were on the scene mopping up until about 3 a.m., Luque said.
Bamboo is problematic for firefighters because the plant's roots are very thick and deep, he said.
"Fire gets down in the roots and smolders for a long time," Luque said. "It takes quite a while to make sure a fire doesn't stir back up. It's not uncommon to have firefighters mopping up a day or two later."
At 9:30 a.m., firefighters were again responding to reports of smoke in the same area, Luque said.
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