Evacuations lifted after Pasqual Fire torches 365 acres

SAN DIEGO -- A wildfire that erupted Friday near San Diego Zoo Safari Park burned more than 300 acres before crews got the flames under control, officials said.

Cal Fire reported the blaze was 80-percent contained by Sunday evening.

The 365-acre blaze, dubbed the Pasqual Fire, broke out shortly after 1:30 p.m. off the 17000 block of San Pasqual Valley Road, near San Pasqual Academy.

Within 90 minutes, the blaze had burned across more than 200 acres, forcing residential evacuations and the shut down of part a rural highway, as ground and airborne crews scramble to corral the fast-moving flames.

By 7:30 p.m. Friday the fire's progress was halted and most of the active flames were doused, Cal Fire reported.

Evacuations were ordered for residents on more than a dozen streets in the area and evacuees were directed to Ramona High School on Hanson Lane in Ramona.

By 8 p.m. Friday, some evacuation warnings had been lifted, and all evacuations were lifted by about 5 p.m. Saturday.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday all road closures along Highway 78 in the area of the fire have been lifted, CalFire San Diego said.

The fire was burning near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Workers there were preparing crates in case it was necessary to begin evacuating animals. Administrators at San Pasqual Academy, a secondary school for foster teens near the origin point of the blaze, decided on their own to evacuate the campus, police said.

The fire caused no reported structural damage or injuries.

Crews will remain in the area into the weekend, getting lines of containment around all the charred terrain and making sure all hot spots are snuffed out, Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.