A fire fanned by the wind that grows at a "dangerous" rate in the Bonsall area has charred 500 acres, destroying five structures and threatening 1,000 more, firefighters said.
All within the area bounded by West Lilac Road, I-15, Camino Del Rey and Mission Road were soon evacuated, Cal Fire San Diego said.
The area includes several homes, Sullivan Middle School, Bonsall High School and Rancho Moserate Country Club – an exclusive mobile home park.
Two mobile homes in the park on Dulin Road were destroyed, said John Buchanan, spokesman for the North County Fire Protection District. Several structures in a palm grove in front of the high school are burning.
The evacuated students were taken to the Fallbrook High School gymnasium at 2400 South Stage Coach Lane. Another was being sent to East Valley and Community Center at 2245 East Valley Parkway in Escondido, the sheriff's department said.
The passing motorists reported the fire near the right shoulder around 11:15 a.m. The flames quickly carbonized 50 acres, and evacuations were announced soon after. [19659008Laslamascarbonizedanear-northerlyroadthroughthehaughtyandwindyeastoftheresort
. A number of agencies rushed to the area to help put out the wind-blown fire, including Camp Pendleton firefighters.
The plane hired by San Diego Gas & Electric Co., which can dump up to 2,650 gallons of water, the equivalent of five fire trucks, was sent around noon to help fight the fire.
The plane can fly in 15 minutes and only 45 seconds to refill its tanks, said SDG & E spokeswoman Helen Gao.
The Bonsall School District said in a statement that the buses were quickly transporting students who were not picked up by their parents to the Bonsall Community Center at 1505 Old River Road. They were then taken to the gymnasium of Fallbrook High School.
"We have good information and we were able to get all the buses here and all the children loaded just before we saw llamas approaching the hill," said Joseph Clebenger, director of Sullivan. Middle School
Students who were supposed to stay after school in high school and high school will also be taken to the gym. Parents were told to pick up their children as soon as possible.
The fire sent giant plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles. The smoke was being blown to the west, away from the highway, by gusts of 30 to 35 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.
The flames were blazing northwestward toward Route 76, according to the CHP.
The two outer lanes south of I-15 south of SR-76 closed for a couple of hours while firefighters battled the fire.
Old Highway 395 remained closed on Lilac Road, as is Route 76 between East Vista Way and I-15.
Closures roared traffic in the area.
Around 1:15 pm, a second fire started at the San Luis Rey Training Center, which is on Camino Del Rey and south of West Lilac Road. It has carbonized approximately three acres.
The temperature in the area was approximately 80 degrees. The humidity was around four percent.