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Lightning Strikes Spark Brush Fires In East County

Brush fires sparked by lightning strikes burned across several remote, rugged East County locales today, scorching dozens of acres but threatening no developed areas.

The flames began spreading near Warner Springs, Scissors Crossing and San Felipe in the early afternoon as thunderheads generated electrical storms across the eastern highlands of San Diego County, according to Cal Fire.

Within several hours, the blaze in the latter location -- about three miles west of the intersection of State Route 78 and Highway S2 -- had grown to roughly 50 acres, and the other two were holding at one to three acres, said Nick Schuler, a battalion chief with the state agency.

Crews attacking the fires in steep and rocky terrain were aided by four air tankers and several helicopters that dropped chemical retardant and water on the flames.

By 4 p.m., the personnel were making good progress in containing the blazes, Schuler said. The firefighters on the ground were expected to remain at the lines overnight, making sure all hot spots are fully doused, he said.

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