Strong winds helped fan a brush fire at a large homeless encampment on the 15 South at Market street in the Stockton area of San Diego.
The call came in just after 6:30 p.m. as a smoke check. When firefighters arrived there was heavy, black smoke and flames over a quarter acre area. The transients took off once the fire started. Debris and trash are scattered among the tents and wood structures in the encampment.
Firefighters pulled hoses down the freeway and navigated a steep hill to fight the fire. Firefighters told 10News the area is a trouble spot.
"We've responded our engine alone, probably about 10 times to this exact location, this is a common area where there is a big homeless encampment down there ," said San Diego Fire Captain Finch.
Strong winds kept the embers flying.
"When we first got here the smoke was literally blowing completely sideways. We parked about 200 yards down the freeway because that's where it looked like the fire was ending, but in the hour that we've been here the winds have shifted about three times," said Captain Finch.
The captain said there was a solid wall of flames heading toward the freeway when the first fire trucks arrived.
CHP closed the two right lanes as crews worked to put out the fire. No structures were threatened.