Updated at 6:35 p.m.

The “Highway Fire” rampaged across brushy terrain in northern San Diego County Wednesday, with flames jumping major roadways, threatening homes and forcing evacuations.

The blaze near State Route 76 and Old Highway 395 erupted for unknown reasons about noon, Cal Fire reported. Around 600 acres had burned by mid- afternoon.

Flames roared up and down hillsides, and images of a wind-whipped whirl of flame were circulating on social media.

Cal Fire Capt. Richard Cordova told City News Service about 3 p.m. that homes were threatened, but it was unclear early tonight if any structural damage had occurred.

Interstate 15, Old Highway 395 and state Route 76 were all closed near the blaze for several hours, but have since been reopened.

County officials said almost 600 households were contacted via the reverse 911 system, which urged residents to evacuate to Fallbrook High School, 2400 S. Stage Coach Lane.

Large animals can be taken to Oceanside Ivy Ranch, 110 Rancho Del Oro in Oceanside; Cloverdale Ranch, 2460 Cloverdale Road in Escondido; or Warner Ranch, 10950 Pala Road in Pala.

The fire had earlier been referred to as the “Deer Springs” or “Pala” fire, causing some confusion in earlier reports.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.