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Firefighters Get Upper Hand of Fire Burning Near San Diego Homes

A wildfire burned Tuesday in a brush-filled canyon below a residential neighborhood. The fire moved uphill through heavy vegetation in the Rancho Penasquitos area, a suburban neighborhood in northern San Diego, as firefighters positioned themselves along a ridgeline to protect houses from the flames.

Firefighters gained the upper hand of the estimated 12-acre blaze by evening, said Elaine Maison, a dispatcher with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

"They had the main body of fire knocked down," Maison said.

A city firefighting helicopter flew in to do water drops before sundown, slowing the fire's progress before it reached the backyards of houses overlooking the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

"We're feeling better about it, but there are still some hotspots, and we've still got some work left to do," said department spokesman Lee Swanson. "We're being pretty aggressive."

Air tankers provided by the state had dropped fire retardant in the area, Swanson said. The cause of the fire was under investigation. There were no reports of damages or injuries.

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