California Brush Fire Causes Power Outages

Flames spread through heavy riverbed vegetation near a stretch of trolley tracks in Mission Valley Tuesday, sending thick smoke over the area, halting light-rail commuter runs and causing power outages.

The blaze began spreading shortly after 4 p.m. in an open area off Camino del Rio North, west of Qualcomm Stadium and east of Interstate 805.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's emergency-services helicopter made about 15 water drops on the burn zone, which was in a rugged area difficult for ground crews to access, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

Within an hour, a contingent of about 35 firefighters had halted the spread of the flames.

The San Diego Trolley, meanwhile, suspended its service in the area. Customers were being offered bus rides instead but still were facing delays of up to an hour.

The damage to utility lines that run through the area caused blackouts in various communities, including Mission Valley, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, University Heights, North Park and Normal Heights.

Medics treated one person near the fire scene for some type of minor injuries, possibly caused by a fall, a dispatcher said.

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