San Diego’s dry weather drives fires across county

Firefighters were kept very busy Wednesday, and Thursday could mean more of the same. It’s a day of scorched earth, wind and fire. First stop, Lindbergh Field, where winds play havoc with a jet during its final approach; in the last seconds, the pilot makes a command decision to not set the aircraft down.

“Oh wow, he turned off! He aborted the landing!” Exclaimed onlooker Leo Boeche, who got footage of the vessel ascending once again.

Next stop, National City, where the wind whips flames from a brush fire close to the Plaza Bonita Westfield Shopping Town, catching shoppers off-guard.

“A fire, right outside of Bonita mall, uh-oh,” said a parking lot witness, filming the flames from a car’s backseat.

The blaze burns through a homeless encampment. When the smoke clears, firefighters discover a dead body in the ashes. It’s not known whether the person died in the fire or was deceased before the flames raced across the homeless encampment. KUSI’s Michael Turko just happened to be in the area when the blaze broke out. When asked about the dead body, Frank Parra of the National City Fire Department stated:

 “It was recent and just reported that a body has been found in the fire.

No details could be given, said Parra, but the firefighters were “still trying to make the scene safe, so that law enforcement can actually make entry and start their investigation.”

And the blaze burns so intensely that National City firefighters are forced to enlist the help of four other fire departments.

“Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire in between the 805 and the Plaza Bonita shopping center… There are homeless camps that did burn in this fire. Crews took an aggressive attack, called for a second alarm right away and also called for a San Diego copter to help with air drops.”

Next stop, Santee, where there are some tense moments when a brush fire that broke out Tuesday re-ignited Wednesday. It happened in the Carleton Oaks neighborhood, forcing the evacuation of about 12 homes. Reliable sources tell KUSI one firefighter was injured when a tree branch fell on top of him.

Last stop, near SeaWorld, where a brush fire turns palm trees into free-standing hot coals. The fire also causes a traffic delay along Sea World Drive. The question is whether Thursday will see more scorched earth, wind and fire. By Wednesday evening, the winds were calm, but can still kick up in a matter of hours.

Categories: KUSI