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Brush fire threatens structures in rural El Centro

November 15, 2001|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

A controlled brush fire near Highway 111 and Evan Hewes Highway east of El Centro quickly got out of control Wednesday when gusty winds spread the flame to surrounding brush, threatening nearby structures.

County Fire Capt. Tony Moreno said fire crews were called to the scene at 11:13 a.m. after employees of fire site landowner Jesus Beriga were burning brush.

The fire consumed about 2.5 acres and threatened surrounding buildings, including a Texaco truck stop/service station on Highway 111.

Thirteen firefighters and three engines worked two hours to extinguish the blaze.

Moreno said Beriga's employees had permission to burn the brush, following county procedures.

"With windy days, you can never tell," said Moreno.

A similar brush fire broke out in Niland, consuming 7 acres.

A Niland Fire Department official said the blaze started around 3 p.m. Wednesday when weeds were being burned near Hazard and McDonald roads southwest of the city.

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No structures we threatened and no one was injured. Two engines from Niland fire responded and the blaze was extinguished after an hour.

Those burning weed in Niland also were permitted to burn the brush.

>> Staff Writer Mario RenterĂ­a can be reached at 337-3435.

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