Flames from the Creek Fire near Fallbrook. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A wind-driven brush fire that erupted near Fallbrook grew to 3,050 acres Thursday morning, prompting mandatory evacuations and road closures.

The Creek Fire was first reported about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 37000 block of De Luz Road, about two miles west of Sandia Creek Drive, and quickly blackened 50 acres. It was unclear what sparked the blaze, which erupted amid a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service.

The flames were pushed by the wind into Camp Pendleton early Thursday morning, according to the North County Fire Protection District, and by 6 a.m. had burned 750 acres.

Because of steep terrain, difficult access and high wind speeds, the blaze quickly spread over a much wider area, and as of 9:35 a.m. had blackened at least 3,050 acres and was 0% contained, Camp Pendleton Fire Department Battalion Chief Ryan Rushing said.

No structural damage was immediately reported.

Mandatory evacuations were issued about 1 a.m. for homes on De Luz Road, Main Avenue, Dougherty Street and Ceramic, Darla and Shady lanes in Fallbrook and De Luz Housing and Lake O’Neill campground on Camp Pendleton, according to Cal Fire and North County fire departments.

Shortly before 2:55 a.m., additional evacuation orders were issued for about 7,000 residents on the west side of Fallbrook, south of Main Avenue to South Mission Road, according to Cal Fire.

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies were in the area notifying residents about the fire.

A temporary evacuation point was established at Fallbrook High School, 2400 Stage Coach Lane, the sheriff’s department said.

A road closure was in effect on De Luz Road at Sandia Creek.

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District issued a smoke advisory for residents near Fallbrook and Camp Pendleton.

The agency warned that smoke will likely impact the area throughout the day and residents should assume the air quality levels are unhealthy for all people. Residents were advised to remain indoors, if possible, and limit physical activities in areas that smell like smoke.

Santa Ana winds and low humidity levels were expected to persist in the area throughout the day, creating dangerous fire conditions in the San Diego County mountains and western valleys, according to the Weather Service.

East to northeast winds were expected to reach 15-25 mph until this evening, with gusts potentially hitting 50-60 mph, forecasters said. Humidity levels were expected to be between 7-12%.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020

— City News Service

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