Fire that started at homeless camp burns brush at Talbert Regional Park

A small brush fire in Talbert Regional Park late Wednesday began at a homeless encampment, firefighters said.

Costa Mesa fire crews responded to reports of the blaze just before midnight at the south end of the park near Balboa Boulevard and West 19th Street.

When they arrived, the fire was centered on trash and brush near a spot where homeless people were staying, fire Capt. Chris Coates said.

“They sometimes light fires down there to stay warm and cook, and often they get out of control,” he said.

The flames were contained to a 20-by-20-foot space, but wet roads in the park made accessing the fire a challenge, Coates said.

Instead of driving engines near the blaze roughly 1,500 feet inside the park, firefighters had to hike to the spot with their equipment.

“It’s a significant distance and took them a long time to get there,” Coates said.

Fire crews extinguished the blaze in about an hour but were at the scene for three additional hours clearing brush around the area.

No one was injured.

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN