A pair of brush fires erupted in quick succession alongside Interstate 15 north of Escondido Monday afternoon, blackening swaths of hilly open land and threatening several homes but causing no reported structural damage or injuries.
The fires were 25 percent contained by early Tuesday morning, but one southbound lane of Interstate 15 remained closed in the area.
The blazes began spreading roughly a half-mile apart from each other about 3 p.m. on the west side of the freeway, near Gopher Canyon Road in Deer Springs, according to Cal Fire.
Ground crews and personnel aboard five air tankers and four water-dropping helicopters worked to control the flames, which blackened 20 acres within two hours, said Issac Sanchez, a fire captain with the state agency.
Authorities deemed three houses in danger from the fires and directed the occupants to evacuate as a precaution. Additionally, Caltrans initially closed the southbound side of the interstate in the area for safety reasons and diverted traffic onto Old Highway 395.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the flames.
–City News Service