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San Diego County fire departments remain on high alert

Posted at 7:39 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 22:39:50-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Fire crews continued mopping up what was left of the Willow Fire in Rancho San Diego Thursday, as they remain on high alert during this Red Flag Warning.

One home was destroyed in the brush fire, while six others were damaged when the flames, pushed by wind quickly moved up a hillside to Willow Glen Drive Wednesday.

The fire prompted evacuations. Neighbors told ABC 10News they were scrambling to get out in the middle of the night, unsure of what to grab.

"I happened to be on scene first with our fire chief and it was about five acres when I first got here and quickly grew, and was in the backyards of some of these homes in 5 to 10 minutes," said Andy Lawler, San Miguel Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief.

Crews were able to quickly gain control of the flames, making airdrops when safe, and saving homes — despite the wind working against them.

Over in San Marcos, the Sycamore Fire grew to three acres Thursday afternoon but firefighters were ready to attack it from all angles.

Fire departments across San Diego County have upped their staffing and remain on high alert for the next few days.

"We have dedicated crews on these brush rigs so they have a quicker response throughout the city of San Diego," San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief R.J. Hartman said. "We have an additional helicopter that's available."

Fire crews are asking the public to have an evacuation plan prepared and belongings ready to go, including any medications, important documents, pictures, or anything important to evacuees.