North County spot fires close SR-78; Apartments evacuated

Local

VISTA, Calif. – A series of small spot fires broke out Monday night in Vista, prompting evacuations of some local apartments and forcing the closure of westbound lanes of traffic on SR-78, officials said.

The fires started around 8:45 p.m. and scorched a total of 3-4 acres. The forward rate of spread had been stopped as of Monday night, according to the Vista Fire Department. Firefighters say the blaze had five separate starts along westbound lanes of the freeway from Sycamore Avenue to Mar Vista Drive.

Twenty-two units spanning multiple agencies were assigned to get the fires under control.

Some apartment units were evacuated in the process, but no buildings caught on fire as a result, Vista firefighters said. Two vehicles were reported as being burned up in a parking lot near the freeway, according to the agency.

The Sycamore Avenue on-ramp to westbound SR-78 was closed while crews were on the scene. Eastbound lanes at Mar Vista were requested to be shut down to cut down a palm tree that could fall into the road, California Highway Patrol reported.

All lanes of SR-78 reopened later Monday night.

It is not yet known how the fire started.

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