Bonsall Unified schools to remain closed Tuesday

BONSALL, Calif. – The Bonsall Unified School District will remain closed Tuesday as many districts plan to reopen after having days off due to the Lilac Fire burning in Bonsall.

San Diego County Office of Education officials announced Monday evening that the Bonsall Unified School District will be closed.

Several schools and school districts affected by the Lilac Fire will open, including Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, Fallbrook Union High School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, Spencer Valley School District, Valley Center Pauma Unified and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic school.

North County residents Monday morning returned to their evacuated homes -- some unharmed, some destroyed -- as firefighters reached 80 percent containment on the Lilac Fire that scorched 4,100 acres between Fallbrook and Oceanside.

Despite the progress, officials don't expect to have the blaze fully contained until Dec. 21, which would mark exactly two weeks since the fire erupted for unknown reasons just west of Interstate 15 and north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa, amid gusty, arid Santa Ana winds.

The extended containment outlook is because hand crews must dig down to bare soil around the burn area, ensuring there is no fuel if hot spots do flare up, Cal Fire San Diego Capt. Kendal Bortisser explained.

All roads closed during the blaze were re-opened by about 4 p.m. Sunday and all evacuations orders were lifted earlier in the day, though two areas remained closed to everyone except residents: the Rancho Monserate Country Club mobile home park in Fallbrook, which suffered heavy losses, as well as an area between 5200 and 5800 Olive Hill Road in Fallbrook.