Fire crews snuff out Mission Valley brush fire

Blaze burned hillside near homes in Mission Valley

SAN DIEGO - A discarded cigarette sparked a brush fire that blackened about two acres on a rocky, brush-covered hillside next to Qualcomm Stadium Monday and briefly threatened homes on top of the ridge.

The blaze at the northwest corner of Friars Road and Mission Village Drive in Mission Valley began spreading about 10 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The flames spread toward a row of homes at the top of the steep slope, prompting police to evacuate four of them, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

Crews doused the blaze from the ground and aboard an emergency-services helicopter, refilling the aircraft's water tanks at the nearby San Diego River. It took the personnel about 40 minutes to subdue the fire, Luque said.

A firefighter suffered a minor shoulder strain while helping extinguish the flames and was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. No other injuries were reported.

Authorities closed the ramp from westbound Friars Road to Mission Village Drive for a time to allow crews to secure rocks that had been dislodged from the hill by fire hoses and a broken water line. Some stones rolled down the slope, and at least one hit a car, Luque said.

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