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Fire crews spent hours fighting stubborn Encinitas bluff fire

A brush fire burned along the bluffs in Encinitas near South Coast Highway 101 early Wednesday.
A brush fire along the bluffs in Encinitas near South Coast Highway 101 early Wednesday prompted one home to be evacuated before firefighters knocked down the flames.
(OnScene TV )

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. just west of Highway 101, south of Swami’s Beach, in brush along steep cliffs; one home was evacuated

An early morning brush fire along the bluffs in Encinitas on Wednesday, Aug. 5, prompted one home to be evacuated before fire crews got control of the blaze, a fire official said.

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. just west of South Coast Highway 101, south of Swami’s Beach, in brush along steep cliffs.

At one point, a home on the north side of the fire was evacuated as a precaution, said Encinitas Fire Battalion Chief Mike Spaulding.

“We kept the fire far enough from the home that there was no damage,” he said.

Firefighters stayed on scene until about 5:30 a.m. Because the area is so steep, firefighters weren’t able to climb down the hill to extinguish the fire. So they left a hose line on the hill and planned to check on it throughout the day, Spaulding said.

“People keep calling and saying it keeps starting back up,” he said, adding that residents might be seeing “something starting to steam or smoke.”

It was unclear what started the fire. Officials were investigating whether it was sparked in a possible homeless encampment, Spaulding said.

Just as fire crews were clearing the area, a motorist accidentally rear-ended a deputy’s patrol car, said sheriff’s Sgt. Thomas Byrne. The driver said he was distracted by the lights of the emergency vehicles. No one was injured in the crash.

— Karen Kucher is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


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