Chad Deal 8:22 p.m., May 20
El Cajon Police confirm responsibility for brush fire
Smoke canister used in SWAT team training set blaze
A brush fire that burned four acres in El Cajon on Saturday has officially been linked to training exercises conducted by the city’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman announced yesterday.
Several homes on Hacienda Drive and Cuyamaca Street were briefly threatened before the fire was brought under control with no resulting property damage.
A smoke canister deployed by the SWAT team was responsible for igniting the blaze. Police say proper safety precautions were exercised, though officers “underestimated the weather conditions.”
The department is currently re-evaluating its safety procedures, and says it will receive additional training from the public/private Heartland Fire Department to prevent such occurrences in the future.