Firefighters were able to halt the spread of the Fallsbrea Fire near Bonsall, despite difficult weather conditions. Photo: Cal Fire San Diego/Twitter

Updated Nov. 11, 2018 at 5:44 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man who was believed to have ignited a brush fire that burned about five acres near Bonsall on a day of increased fire danger in the San Diego region Sunday.

The fire broke out around 12:30 p.m. in an area near state Route 76 and Ramona Drive and burned for around three hours before it could be completely contained, according to Cal Fire San Diego.

A sheriff’s deputy had already begun to investigate smoke in the area and arrived at the scene of the fire as firefighters first began to be notified, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Schmidt.

Upon arrival, the deputy saw a man walking away from the blaze who was behaving in a manner that was described as “highly suspicious.”

The man, identified as 34-year-old Brad Arands, was detained until firefighters could get the blaze under control, Schmidt said.

Arands was ultimately arrested on suspicion of felony arson and taken to the Vista Detention Facility.

The blaze was first reported as covering about five acres and possibly threatening nearby structures.

Ground and air crews from both Cal Fire and the North County Fire Protection District deployed to the area, and the forward spread of the fire had been halted by about 12:45 p.m., according to Cal Fire San Diego’s Twitter page. The fire was completely contained by about 3:30 p.m.

One outbuilding and a deck attached to a residence were damaged by the fire, the agency’s Twitter page said. No injuries were reported, according to Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez.

The fire came just hours after a red flag warning went into effect for the area as gusty winds, low humidity and dry brush combine to create extreme fire-prone conditions in San Diego and much of the rest of Southern California.

Elsewhere in the state, the Woolsey Fire had scorched more than 83,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and the Camp Fire in Northern California had destroyed nearly 7,000 structures and killed at least 23 people in its 109,000-acre burn zone as of Sunday.

–City News Service