By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Dennis Richardson
September 18, 2010 (Spring Valley) 8 p.m. – A team of approximately 90 firefighters saved dozens of homes that were threatened by a fast-moving brush fire burning in flashy fuels in Spring Valley this afternoon. One home suffered an estimated $60,000 in damage after an ember blew onto a tinder-dry wood shake roof.
About 150 people were evacuated from the Lamplighter Village mobilehome park and additional evacuations were ordered for residents of the Carriage Hills neighborhood, where flames burned to within 30 yards of some homes.
The fire was reported just after 12:30 p.m. on a hillside near Jamacha and Sweetwater Springs. Cause remains under investigation. Two witnesses at the scene told East County Magazine they saw some boys running from the hill shortly after the fire began “looking scared and nervous.”
In addition to ground crews, five aircraft were brought into the fight, two fixed wing and three helicopters. The fire was officially contained at 3:22 PM. An estimated 50 to 60 acres were charred. No injuries were reported.
“Much has been made about this summer being the coolest in about 70 years, however despite the cooler weather, wildfires and start and travel quickly,” Leonard Villareal from San Miguel Fire cautioned. “In San Diego County we must be prepared year round for the possibility of a destructive brush fire. Fire crews will continue mop up operations, and units will patrol the area throughout the evening to make sure not hot spots flair up.”
Firefighters from the San Miguel Fire District were joined by crews from Cal Fire, all Heartland agencies, San Diego, Fish and Wildlife, CHP, Sheriff’s Office and the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross.