San Diego County CA – A brush fire that began over the weekend at Mission Trails Regional Park was declared 100 percent contained by fire crews Monday afternoon. The initial fire was spotted on the hillside of Kwaay Paay Peak by a park guest on Sunday afternoon at about 2:15 p.m. The flames spread and eventually burned 95 acres in the central portion of the park before fire crews could contain the blaze. No park guests were harmed and no structures were damaged in the fire. One firefighter suffered a heat-related injury.
Due to the high heat over the weekend, the park had fewer guests than usual. Following the initial report of the fire, park rangers quickly and safely evacuated guests. Fire crews determined an evacuation of nearby homes was unnecessary. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Officials urged guests to honor the trail closures while the investigation is underway. “The closed trails will be visibly blocked off, and I ask our guests to please heed the warning signs,” said City of San Diego Senior Park Ranger Andy Quinn. “Safety is our number one concern here.”
The Climbers Loop Trail, Oak Grove North Loop and Kwaay Paay Trail will be closed until further notice. More than 50 miles of trails in the park will remain open to guests. All other parts of the park are still open to visitors, including the Visitor’s Center, Father Junipero Serra Trail and Kumeyaay Lake Campground. Guided tours and other planned activities at the Visitor’s Center will continue to be offered without any change in schedule.
Mission Trails Regional Park city staff members, the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation and volunteers were grateful for the firefighters’ quick response and tenacious battling of the flames. “The firefighters responded very quickly to our call and immediately got to work. In full gear, they lugged heavy equipment up steep hillsides and this, coupled with continued water and flame retardant drops from two airplanes and three helicopters, did what needed to be done to stop the blaze from spreading,” said Jay Wilson, Executive Director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation “We cannot thank them and all the other first responders enough for their courage and persistence in battling the fire throughout the night and into the next day.”
For more information about Mission Trails Regional Park, please visit mtrp.org.