The residual heat from a weed wacker, which was laid down on a patch of dry grass, sparked a vegetation fire in the 3900 block of Carmichael Drive near Fletcher Drive in La Mesa on Sunday afternoon, reported.
In total, four engine companies responded, two of which were from La Mesa Fire Department as part of an automatic mutual aid agreement.
The fire, which started a little before 1:30 p.m. burned one half-acre and threatened four homes, before being completely contained by firefighters in about 15 minutes.
According to the district, a property owner was clearing his land of weeds, using a weed wacker. He told investigators he set the machine down to change the nylon string. Not realizing how hot the engine of the weed wacker was, he set it down on top of dry grass. The property owner said the fire took off so fast he was unable to put it out. The land owner was treated for smoke inhalation on the scene. He was not transported.