Crews battle flare-up, evacuations lifted in North County Rock Fire

FALLBROOK, Calif. -- Despite an afternoon flare-up, fire crews are sounding a confident note in their battle against the fire burning in Fallbrook this weekend, and all evacuations were lifted Sunday.

The blaze, dubbed the Rock Fire, scorched more than 200 acres of vegetation and was 50-percent contained as of 6 p.m. Cal Fire Captain Issac Sanchez said all residents who evacuated were now allowed to return home.

"You may see heavy black smoke coming from this fire right now," the North County Fire District tweeted at midafternoon. "It is coming from a flare up well inside the burn. Fire crews are keeping a close eye on this and have units strategically placed to handle this."

A total of 150 firefighters were on scene, officials said.

Reports of the fire first came at 3:10 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol. It's located along Rock Mountain Drive near Sandia Creek Drive, just south of the Riverside County line.

The fire was estimated at 25-30 acres as of about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. It quickly spread to more than 200 acres before firefighters were able to stop its forward spread by about 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Roads were closed in the area and residents from more than 100 homes were told to evacuate to Fallbrook High School.

Authorities in Riverside County said they did not believe the fire had spread into their jurisdiction, although smoke inundated much of the Temecula Valley.

No homes were damaged in the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A fire in Fallbrook, near the border with Riverside County, filled the sky with smoke and ash and forced residents to evacuate this weekend.