Aircraft drops retardant
An aircraft drops retardant on the fire Tuesday morning. Courtesy Cal Fire

A wildfire burned across rugged terrain east of Otay Mesa and just north of the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday, pushing into Baja California before ground and air crews gained control.

By 5:30 p.m., firefighters had halted the spread of the blaze at an estimated 70 acres.

Medics took one firefighter to a hospital for treatment of minor heat-related illness, according to Cal Fire Capt. Thomas Shoots.

The non-injury blaze – the second to break out in the same general vicinity in the last two days – began spreading for unknown reasons near Tecate Creek in Marron Valley at about 10 a.m., Cal Fire said.

By late afternoon, the flames had blackened some 40 acres and moved south across the international line, Shoots said. At the time, he described the blaze as 5% contained.

Ground crews and personnel aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters were battling the blaze, which posed no immediate structural threats. As of shortly after noon, the nearest homes to the burn area were several miles away, Shoots said.

In addition to fighting the flames on the U.S. side, Cal Fire personnel aided Mexican authorities just to the south in adjacent Baja territory.

The fire was reported about 14 hours after another blaze erupted a few miles to the west, on the outskirts of Otay Mesa. Crews were able to halt the spread of that fire – which also caused no known injuries or property damage – by 3 a.m. Tuesday. It scorched roughly 30 acres, Shoots said.

– City News Service

Updated 4:20 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. June 21, 2022