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Brush Fires End Summer Fun

SAN DIEGO (AP) --A pair of wildfires near the California coast charred thousands of acres of rural brush on a hot, dry Saturday and brought a quick end to the weekends of many campers and hikers, but left minimal damage and injuries.

A pair of hikers and eight people in a cabin were evacuated by helicopter as a fast-growing wildfire consumed some 2,000 acres _ about three square miles _ of grasslands in rural San Diego County, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Roxanne Provaznik.

The blaze began Saturday afternoon in the county's northeastern corner on the edge of Cleveland National Forest, and it took 20 engine companies and 10 water-dropping aircraft about five hours to stop its forward progress, Provaznik said. It was about 10 percent surrounded and firefighters planned to work through the night to fully contain it, Provaznik said.

Boaters and water skiers at El Capitan Reservoir and visitors at El Monte Park were told to evacuate, Cal Fire captain Daryll Pina said.

Temperatures were in the mid-90s and humidity in the twenties in the area amid a summer where temperatures have so far been unusually mild and big fires rare.

Pina said Saturday's conditions were more typical of August and were expected again Sunday.

"An average summer day," he told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

There were no homes or other structures in immediate danger, fire officials said.

Two firefighters had minor injuries, a bee sting and a twisted ankle, Provaznik said.

Meanwhile, another wildfire on the state's central coast forced the evacuation of a half-dozen campgrounds and briefly threatened several buildings.

That blaze broke out north of San Luis Obispo burned about 1,500 acres before sunset Saturday.

Cal Fire officials said structures were out of immediate danger as the blaze moved into the Los Padres National Forest.

The Los Padres, Turkey Flat, Friis, Navajo, La Panza and Navajo Flats campgrounds were evacuated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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