Crews knock down brush fire in canyon near Winona Avenue

SDFRD orders evacuations

SAN DIEGO - A fire of unknown origin blackened about an acre and a half in a foliage-choked City Heights canyon Wednesday, spreading near homes and prompting evacuations but causing no structural damage or injuries.

The blaze off the 3800 block of 49th Street began spreading shortly after 1:30 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The flames moved through thick, dry grass and other vegetation and into residential yards, prompting police to clear about eight people out of several of the most immediately threatened houses.   

"It burned right up to people's ... foundations and walls," SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

It took ground crews and personnel aboard a water-dropping helicopter about 25 minutes to subdue the blaze.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at Marshall Elementary School (3550 Altadena Ave.).

Investigators were unable to immediately determine what sparked the fire, Luque said.

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