Small brush fire off the SR-52 started by a catalytic converter

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A fire in Mission Trails Regional Park scorched about 2 1/2 acres of brush today and closed eastbound state Route 52 between Santo Road and Mast Boulevard for about a half-hour, authorities said.

The blaze erupted about 3:15 p.m. on the south side of the highway moving up a hillside toward the Fortuna Trail, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said. No structures were threatened, and nobody was on the trail when firefighters arrived in the park to battle the flames.

"The incident commander, Battalion Chief Gerboth, called for a lot of resources quickly, which allowed the fire to be put out fast so that it didn’t reach the trail,” Munoz said. "No trail is closed or was evacuated.”

Munoz reported just before 5 p.m. that the fire was contained. Firefighters from the Miramar Air Base, located just across the highway, helped the SDFRD crews, Munoz said. A sheriff’s helicopter also responded, and Cal Fire crews were expected to help with the mop-up phase.

The California Highway Patrol closed all eastbound lanes of the highway just before 4 p.m. and traffic was diverted onto Santo Road. One lane was reopened about 4:30 p.m., and by 4:45 only the far right lane was still closed.

The fire is believe to be started by a catalytic converter, according to the San Diego Fire Department, due to pieces found at the fire’s point of origin. 

Categories: Local San Diego News