San Diego Teen Arrested in Connection with Labor Day Brush Fire; 200 Homes Were Evacuated

September 7, 2005

A San Diego teenager was not enjoying the first few days of a new school year with his classmates this week.

Instead, he found himself arrested on charges of allegedly setting a 160-acre brush fire that resulted in some 200 homes being evacuated in the Rancho Penasquitos section of San Diego County. Due to the boy’s age, his name was not released on local media outlets. Authorities said the boy will be charged with arson.

As of early evening Tuesday, about 90 percent of the fire had been contained. As traffic headed north on the I-15 Monday afternoon, motorists and bystanders on side roads watched both helicopters and planes make numerous drops on the fire.

No one was injured directly as a result of the fire, but a collision between a U.S. Forest Service firetruck and a female passenger in an SUV sent the woman to the hospital in critical condition. The woman’s husband and three children were also injured in the vehicle accident.

San Diego was hit nearly two years ago with deadly brush fires in a number of areas of the county, killing 15 people.

The city and surrounding areas normally receive very little rain during the summer, leaving much of the surrounding hillsides susceptible to fires in the late summer and fall seasons.

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