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Las Lomas fire worries neighbors during dry, warm weather

LAS LOMAS, Calif. (KION) Early Monday morning Vanessa Acevedo started to hear sirens before a loud pop finally got her out of bed. That’s when she went to see what was going on in her family’s Las Lomas neighborhood. 

“I looked out the window and I saw this fire truck and these sheriffs on their way here and then there were just these big flames and that's when I started to panic,” said Vanessa Acevedo, a Las Lomas Resident said.   

The 911 call came just before 6 am. North County Fire Protection District responded to the structure fire, a five-car garage in flames. Neighbors including Vanessa witnessed the flames starting to move up a small hillside. A worrisome sight for those living in the Las Lomas community, especially given the ongoing drought and abnormally warm weather. 

“We live in between several mountains, which is a lot of dry brush and just a couple flames could just incinerate everything,” continued Acevedo.

Another concern, how to escape town if a fire were to get out of control. There are only two roadways that serve as ins and outs. Roads which are windy and narrow, with barely enough room to fit two cars. In addition, there has been ongoing construction on Las Lomas Drive, one of the main entrances and exits to Hall Road. 

“This is a very high populated Latino area which a lot of them live under the property line which is farmworkers. So we’re very grateful that the responders did respond as quickly as they did because they saved a lot of people from being displaced,” Acevedo.  

Fire Chief Joel Mendoza, mentioned a second smaller fire nearby was caused by an electrical short circuit. They were able to put it out before any serious damage was done. There were no official evacuations, but for Vanessa and those living in the Las Lomas community, it's a reminder that it doesn’t take much for one spark to take off in the dry-fueled hills. 

“I think it’s important that we recognize the conditions we live around and how hard it would be if we ever, if anything did light up, and how many people we would be effecting,” Acevedo.  

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.

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