A brush fire briefly threatened three homes east of Lake Hodges Tuesday and burned 55 acres before more than 150 firefighters could extinguish it, firefighters reported.
The cause of the fire, which began near Escondido at the intersection of Highland Valley and Bandy Canyon roads, is under investigation.
When firefighters arrived about 5 p.m., 20 acres of steep terrain and heavy brush was already burning, Fire Department spokesman Larry Stewart said. The blaze was also aided by a slight wind.
"Three homes on the south side of Highland Valley Road were at one time threatened by the fire, however, firefighters were able to get to those areas and knock the fire down before it could jump the road," Steward said.
During the two-hour battle to extinguish the blaze, San Diego firefighters called in two airplanes, two helicopters and additional firefighters from the California Department of Forestry.