SDFD called to fake movie-set fire in North Clairemont Canyon

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Fire engines, brush rigs and helicopters descended on the site of a reported brush fire Wednesday morning in a canyon in North Clairemont, but it turned out the smoke was coming from a movie set.

Witnesses called dispatchers at 7:09 a.m. to report a fire in a canyon near Genesee Avenue and eastbound state Route 52 near Marian Bear Memorial Natural Park, according to fire dispatchers.

A San Diego Fire-Rescue incident log showed four engines, two helicopters and two brush rigs were among the resources dispatched to battle the apparent blaze.

But when fire crews arrived, they learned it wasn’t a real fire, but smoke caused by a film crew’s smoke machine, a fire department spokesman said. The movie crew apparently had a permit from park rangers to film in the canyon, and the fire response was called off. 

Brandy Shimabukuro, the filming program manager for San Diego’s Special Events and Filming Department, released the following statement regarding the incident.

"The production, titled ‘Rainbow Spec’ by a location production company called Tallgrass Pictures LLC, was issued a film permit by the City’s Park & Recreation Department for Marian Bear Memorial Park. The production was required to disclose any special effects involved in their filming activity during the application process, including the use of a smoke machine. However, the production did not indicate they would be using any special effects.

The use of a smoke machine would have required additional review by San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and notification to the San Diego Police Department, and we would have taken into account the location’s proximity to a major highway. While we strive to balance the needs of our communities with those of the production companies, this production company was not in compliance with what they were approved to do."

Categories: Local San Diego News