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Public Safety

Brush Fire Chars Dozens Of Acres Alongside I-8 In Granite Hills Area

Smoke from the Coches Fire seen on Interstate 8 in Lakeside, May 12, 2021.
Cal Fire San Diego
Smoke from the Coches Fire seen on Interstate 8 in Lakeside, May 12, 2021.

A brush fire of unknown origin blackened about 30 open acres alongside Interstate 8 northeast of El Cajon Wednesday afternoon, spreading dangerously close to homes before firefighters got the upper hand.

The blaze erupted about 3:30 p.m. near the eastbound lanes of the freeway, west of Los Coches Road in the unincorporated Granite Hills area, according to Cal Fire.

The eastward-spreading flames moved up grassy slopes to within a few hundred feet of houses along Carob Tree and Lotus lanes as crews battled the blaze by ground and aboard firefighting aircraft, said Thomas Shoots, a fire captain with the state agency.

Deputies advised residents of those homes to clear out as a precaution, sheriff's Lt. Mark Moreno said.

Firefighters had the spread of the blaze halted as of shortly before 5 p.m., Shoots said. They were expected to remain in the area well in the evening, dousing hot spots and creating fire breaks.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.