Three brush fires erupted in quick succession alongside a roughly 10-mile stretch of Interstate 8 in the East County Thursday, quickly blackening dozens of acres and threatening rural homes.
The fires began spreading shortly before 5:30 p.m. near Greenfield Drive, Los Coches Road and Dunbar Lane, according to Cal Fire. The flames moved up slopes through heavy vegetation, moving in the direction of some residences, said Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler.
Within 45 minutes, the blazes had scorched a total of about 30 acres. By then, ground crews and personnel aboard water-dropping helicopters and air tankers were making good progress in halting the flames, Mohler said.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the fires but the California Highway Patrol suspects it could be arson. It's asking everyone in the area to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
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