Bernardo Fire: 20,000 Homes Ordered Evacuated in San Diego County

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A quickly spreading wildfire in northern San Diego County prompted the evacuation of thousands of homes on Tuesday.


The Bernardino Fire was burning in the area east of Encinitas on May 13, 2014. (Credit: KSWB)

Dubbed the Bernardo Fire, the blaze broke out just before 11 a.m amid  a searing spring heat wave and gusty Santa Ana winds that prompted red flag warnings across much of Southern California.

The fire was burning southwest of Rancho Bernardo and had grown to 800 acres by 6 p.m., according to Cal Fire. It began near Del Norte High School (map), authorities said.

The blaze was 5 percent contained by about 3:30 p.m.

A landscape of rolling hills appeared blackened, and dark smoke was rising from the area, aerial video showed.

More than 20,000 homes, most of them in the city of San Diego, were evacuated, according to San Diego County emergency authorities.

As of 8:30 p.m. all evacuation orders had been lifted, according to a tweet from San Diego County officials.

Communities affected by evacuation orders included Torrey Highlands, Rancho Penasqutios, Black Mountain Ranch, Santa Luz Fairbanks Ranch, outer portions of Rancho Santa Fe and Camino Del Sur, Cal Fire stated in a news release.

An area around a San Diego Gas & Electric 230 kilovolt power line was of concern, Cal Fire said.

An evacuation center was set up at Rancho Bernardo High School, the Sheriff’s Department stated. Multiple roads in the area were closed for a time, but were later reopened.

San Diego County was under a heat advisory and a high wind warning for strong Santa Ana gusts. Record high temperatures were possible this week, according to the National Weather Service.