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Fire Destroys Homes Near San Diego

February 10, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A fire propelled by high winds destroyed five homes Sunday and threatened several others north of San Diego.

The homes were lost in Fallbrook shortly after the fire was reported about at about noon, said Audrey Higgen, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry. No one was injured.

The fire had consumed 100 acres just an hour after it was reported, Higgen said. By then about 250 firefighters were at the scene, about 60 miles north of San Diego, she said.

It was driven by the same type of erratic winds that gusted up to 100 mph in parts of Southern California over the weekend. They overturned two big-rigs, whipped brush fires into massive blazes and knocked over a tree that killed a tennis player.

In a fire near Anaheim Hills, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, roughly 1,400 acres of brush were burning. Winds gusted at speeds as high as 80 mph.

More than 1,000 firefighters were tackling the blaze, which was about 10 percent contained by Sunday afternoon, said Kymbra Fleming, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Fire Authority.

The fire broke out Saturday night. No homes were immediately threatened, although some residents became worried when smoke blew over their neighborhood, Fleming said.

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