The hawk, clutching a snake in its talons, flew into the utility line in the vicinity of Dunhill and Flintkote streets around 5:45 a.m., caught fire and fell to the ground, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson. While the cause of the fire was not unusual, dry conditions in the area allowed it to spread quickly, he said.
The blaze started in light grass on a hillside behind General Atomics and then spread to heavier brush, Swanson said.
About 80 firefighters, some in helicopters, had the fire under control in about an hour, according to the spokesman. It was contained before it could become a threat to nearby structures.
No one was injured, but the blaze caused about $10,000 in damage to San Diego Gas & Electric equipment. It also initially knocked out electricity to 413 utility customers in the Torrey Pines, Sorrento Valley and University City neighborhoods, but service was later restored.
– City News Service