Neighbors fearful after string of fires in 'homeless canyon'

Posted at 6:22 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 21:22:46-04

Amid some dangerous fire conditions, a string of fires in a canyon has one El Cajon neighborhood especially nervous.

Just south of Main Street, near Westwind Drive, there is a spot of charred earth to go with some ignited fears.

"I'm very concerned.  There are a lot of houses on the hill.  If he get a good wind, that fire is going to go up and destroy those homes," said Jackie Warrington.         

On Sunday night around 8 pm she was walking near her home when she saw the flashing lights. "There were a lot of police and fire engines up here, all the way in the canyon," said Warrington.

Near the fire area, there is a scattering of clothes. "We've had a lot of homeless living in the canyon, especially in the last nine months," said Warrington.

About an hour after fire crews put the fire out, Warrington rushed to a spot close by after getting a call from a friend about more flames. "The flames were about 4-feet wide. I called the fire department," said Warrington.   

Soon, there were ore fire crews and another fire quickly put out. In all that night, there were three fires in a span of three hours.         

Arson is believed to be the cause. "I want to cry looking at the canyon. You get so upset," said Warrington. The canyon is privately owned.     

Warrington says police have tried to clear out the homeless but they keep coming back. 10news reached out to the city for a response, but have yet to hear back.