How to Help Those Affected by SoCal Brush Fires

Suspected Arson Blaze Grows to 100 Acres, Prompts Evacuations in San Diego County

Firefighters stopped the forward spread of a brush fire that prompted evacuations in San Diego County on Monday afternoon, officials said.

A brush fire inches closer to a home in San Diego County on Aug. 13, 2018. (Credit: KSWB)

A brush fire inches closer to a home in San Diego County on Aug. 13, 2018. (Credit: KSWB)

The blaze, dubbed the Cloverdale Fire, started after 3 p.m. in the 21200 block of San Pasqual Road and was burning in a valley among a stand of eucalyptus trees, KTLA sister station KSWB in San Diego reported.

The fire had grown to 100 acres and was 15 percent contained, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz.

Earlier in the afternoon, the flames were moving rapidly and threatening a home and other structures, aerial video showed.

Investigators later said they believed the fire was deliberately set.

Fire crews from San Diego, Escondido, Cal Fire and other fire agencies were working to put out the blaze, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said. Ground crews were assisted by three water-dropping helicopters and two fixed-wing air tankers flying out of Ramona, he added.

Residents were evacuated from homes along San Pasqual Road in the Escondido area, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office. Meanwhile, evacuation warnings were given for Rockwood and Brillwood Hill roads.

Residents and animals were evacuated to San Pasqual High School.

The fire had been spreading to the northeast in the general direction of the San Diego Safari Park, forcing it to close an evacuate all visitors around 4 p.m. But the park was not evacuating animals, Sanchez said.

As of 5 p.m., no homes or buildings had burned, and no injuries had been reported, the fire captain stated.

The fire was burning about 5 miles west of the Rangeland and Pasqual fires that both broke out in the San Pasqual Valley in the last two weeks, Sanchez said.

All lanes of State Route 78 were closed between east of the Safari Park and Cloverdale Road due to the fire, according to Caltrans.

KTLA’s Juan Flores contributed to this story.