A small brush fire in Mission Viejo was contained to less than a half-acre today despite the vegetation in the area being so dry, a fire captain said.
Orange County firefighters were called to an area off Country Hills Road behind Capistrano Valley High School today at 11:54, said Capt. Steve Concialdi.
The area is known as a hangout for teenagers who drink and smoke, he said.
Investigators believe that a cigarette could have inadvertently ignited the brush fire, Concialdi said.
“They don’t think they started it on purpose, but maybe a careless act with the cigarette, some sort of human activity,” he said of investigators.
Nearby homes would have been easily threatened if not for the windless conditions, he added.
“We have to be extremely careful, the vegetation is so dry, it doesn’t take much to ignite it,” Concialdi said.
Because brush is so dry, the Orange County Fire Authority immediately sent out a helicopter, several units and a hand crew.
The fire was extinguished in about a half hour.