Firefighters Knock Down El Cajon Brush Fire

Fire Started Near East Main Street, Lavala Lane

Firefighters knocked down a brush fire on an El Cajon hillside on Tuesday.

» Video: Firefighters Knock Down El Cajon Brush Fire

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The fire started at about 7:10 p.m. near East Main Street and Lavala Lane, also near Aurora Drive. It quickly grew to about two and a half acres before crews could contain the fire.

A helicopter made water drops, which aided firefighters in getting the fire under control in about 30 minutes.

As of about 9:15 p.m., the fire was out. Crews are expected to remain on scene overnight to mop up hot spots.

According to the Heartland Fire Department, El Cajon police evacuated several homes in the immediate area that were threatened. The evacuations were lifted and people were allowed to return to their homes shortly after 9 p.m.

Arielle Torey was among several who were evacuated. She said her homeowners insurance was canceled because the wildland area is a huge liability. She said she has lobbied for years to have it cleared.

"Who cares one iota to do anything about this?" she said. "Nobody."

Firefighters said they are not taking any risks because the wildland area has homes on both sides. They said the fire's intensity in mid-June is the sign of what is to come.

"We should all get a wake-up call," said Fire Chief Andy Parr, who is with the Lakeside Fire Department. "[In] mid-June, fires like this don't usually get nearly this big. You have a substantial fire in the evening, the sun's about down and we still have two acres burned in a quick fashion. We are in for a long fire season without any rain."

No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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