100-acre brush fire prompts evacuations in Rainbow, leaves hundreds without electricity


LATEST: Aruba Fire in North County now 30% contained

SAN DIEGO — Firefighters were working to put out a stubborn brush fire Sunday southeast of the community of Rainbow that caused evacuations and left hundreds without electricity, Cal Fire San Diego said.

North County Fire Protection District reports the fire originated on 37060 Jeremy Way in Fallbrook then made its way to communities near Rainbow.

The blaze, dubbed the Aruba Fire, grew to 100 acres at 15% containment. The forward rate of spread has been stopped, Cal Fire said.

The fire started at 10-15 acres around 4:25 p.m., then grew to 40-50 acres about 15 minutes later with a moderate rate of spread. It prompted evacuation orders for areas of Rainbow and a temporary evacuation point was set up at Vallecitos Elementary School. Cal Fire said the Red Cross is available at the evacuation point if needed.

In Fallbrook, the American Red Cross opened a shelter at Christ the King Lutheran Church.

“We’re working with them for vouchers and hotels,” said Cal Fire Capt. Frank Lococo. “Local areas, whether it be San Diego County or Temecula, but we’re working with the residents for that as well”

SDG&E said the fire caused damage to its electric system, which impacted Pala, Rainbow, Rice Canyon and Pala Mesa Village. More than 200 customers were without power.

“You start zeroing in when it’s fire danger,” evacuee Gigi Holladay said. “First of all, I always make sure that all my roads are weed wacked and there’s no fire danger there. If a fire truck needs to go up there, he can get through.”

FOX 5 reporter Kelsey Christensen captured video of the fire as Cal Fire said firefighters were making good progress with air and ground resources.

Lococo said fire crews would be “working through the night and probably the next day as well.”

“So we have over 25 fire engines, multiple fixed-winged aircrafts, helicopters, water tenders, hand crews and they all work together – tools in the toolbox if you will,” Lococo said. “Obviously our hopes are that we can lift the orders. There’s still a lot of work left to be done. We’re working closely with our sheriff deputy partners to make sure it’s safe for them to do so.”

No injuries or damage to structures were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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