Firefighters outside the burning junkyard in Otay Mesa. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Firefighters battled three separate blazes Friday afternoon and evening in La Jolla and the farthest reaches of San Diego County.

Crews worked to extinguish a fire spreading through an auto junkyard in the 900 block of Heritage Road in Otay Mesa, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The blaze sent a large column of black smoke into the sky over the South Bay during the evening commute.

Numerous firefighting companies, including crews aboard water-dropping and chemical foam-dropping aircraft, were dispatched to put out the flames. The process is expected to take hours.

“These fires take a long time to extinguish because of all the debris,” fire department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

At the other end of the county, crews halted the spread of a roughly 1.5-acre brush fire off the 40000 block of De Luz Road in the Fallbrook area, according to Cal Fire. No structural damage or injuries have been reported.

The slow-moving brush fire spread initially over about an acre in an open area off De Luz Road.

The La Jolla blaze damaged an apartment building in the 1200 block of Coast Boulevard. The structure was undergoing construction while some units were still inhabited, NBC-7 San Diego reported. The fire was put out by 5:20 p.m. and medics and search and rescue crews were on the scene to assist.

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