CARLSBAD, Calif. — Authorities asked residents to leave their homes in a Carlsbad community Saturday as a brush fire moved through the nature area bordering a lagoon.
The blaze started burning around 12:30 p.m. along the Buena Vista Lagoon, just west of Interstate 5, according to the Carlsbad Police Department. Small streets immediately surrounding the body of water, including parts of Buena Vista Circle, Kremeyer Circle and Laguna Drive were evacuated “out of caution.”
By 3:15 p.m., officials said the fire had been held at 10 acres and was “contained,” but that street closures would remain in place and firefighters would continue working in the area for several hours.
Around 4 p.m., officials announced that southbound Carlsbad Boulevard had reopened and that northbound Carlsbad Avenue, State Street, and Laguna Drive would remain closed for several additional hours as cleanup continued.
Multiple agencies were involved in the firefight, and at least one helicopter dropped water on the flames. North County residents could widely see a plume of smoke rising over the area.
“Lots of ash in the air,” a police spokesperson wrote on Twitter. “We are getting calls from the Calavera area as the wind is blowing in that direction.”
FOX 5’s Kathleen Bade shared a video of the smoke billowing into the sky above Carlsbad Village, where many people were out on a Saturday afternoon.
Earlier in the firefight, journalist Steve Puterski shared a video on Twitter of leaping flames close to the lagoon.
The area surrounding the body of water, the Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve, consists of 206 acres of coastal freshwater lagoon habitat, according to the state. It’s a protected area home to many varieties of birds and some mammals, along with plant life. It wasn’t immediately clear how extensively the habitat had been damaged.