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Signal fire set by hiker near border chars 2 acres of brush

Cal Fire San Diego units on Sunday stopped the spread of a 2-acre brush fire near Otay Mountain Truck Trail, a mile north of the
U.S.-Mexico border. Officials said the blaze was started as a signal fire by a hiker in need of medical aid.

The fire was reported around 2:30 p.m. when it had charred about an acre and was slowly spreading. By 4:20 p.m., air units dropped retardant all around the blaze and forward progress had been stopped, said Cal Fire Capt. Thomas Shoots.

A hiker in the area who was experiencing dehydration and seeking medical help admitted to setting the fire, saying it was a signal fire that got out of hand, an incident commander at the scene told Shoots. The hiker was located and a helicopter crew making water drops transitioned to a hoist rescue and flew him to a hospital.

Firefighters expected to remain at the scene for a couple of hours for mop-up operations, Shoots said.

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