Fire crews make quick work of Wildcat blaze

By Karen Brainard

Flames shoot up on a hilltop east of Wildcat Canyon Road and south of San Vicente Road on Monday afternoon. Sentinel photos/Karen Brainard

About 100 firefighters battled a blaze off Wildcat Canyon Road on Monday afternoon that burned about 70 acres but was under control in just under 1-1/2 hours.

Cal Fire has determined the fire was caused by a malfunctioning catalytic converter. The fire started about 3:05 p.m. in a portion of Barona Indian Reservation along Wildcat Canyon Road, just past Little Klondike Road, and burned into state responsibility areas, reported Cal Fire Battalion Chief Saul Villagomez with the Ramona Fire Department.

When the first unit arrived, the fire was 10 acres “with a moderate rate of spread,” said Villagomez.

“It was moving pretty well,” he said, adding that it was heading in a northeasterly direction.

Air tankers were called in and began dropping fire retardant to prevent it from spreading toward San Diego Country Estates.

A sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter flew over homes in an area of the Estates, advising residents not to panic, said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Mike Mohler.

No evacuations were ordered, but some residents were said to have voluntarily evacuated from homes on Calistoga Place, Moonglow Drive and Nectar Way in Country Estates, Villagomez said.

Burnt brush and hotspots continue to smoke on a hillside along Wildcat Canyon Road Tuesday afternoon.

Villagomez said the fire was contained about 4:30 p.m. “due to ground troops and air tankers working in unison.” Air tankers were called off and fire crews continued to work into the evening and by midnight had the fire mopped up, he said.

Responding to the fire were 22 engines, six hand crews, three water tenders, a bulldozer, four local air tankers and two super tankers from San Bernardino County, according to Villagomez.

One firefighter suffered a heat-related injury, but was not transported to the hospital, reported Villagomez.

Wildcat Canyon Road was closed during mid-afternoon to early evening on Monday. On San Vicente Road east of Wildcat Canyon, drivers pulled over to view flames that were visible on a hilltop.

Fire engines and emergency vehicles line Wildcat Canyon Road.

At San Vicente Golf Resort, people continued to golf and swim while Estates Association General Manager Mario Trejo stayed apprised of the fire’s progress.

Related posts:

  1. Wildcat fire threatens structures, grows to 100 acres
  2. Brush fire off Wildcat Canyon Road south of San Vicente
  3. Firefighters stop spread of Wildcat fire
  4. Firefighters ‘making good progress’ on Wildcat fire
  5. CalFire investigates cause of 15-acre fire in Ramona

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Posted by Staff on Aug 31 2011. Filed under Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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