Lilac Fire: San Diego brush fire destroys structures, forces evacuations in North County

Brush fire breaks out along I-15 in Fallbrook
Posted at 11:47 AM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 11:04:52-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A brush fire broke out along Interstate 15 and State Route 76 in the Bonsall area Thursday.

The Lilac Fire erupted at the Old Highway 395 cross of Dublin Road just after 11 a.m., Cal Fire said. The burn area covered the area west of I-15, and just south of SR-76.

The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services reported an outage with its 211 emergency hotline due to a high volume of calls. The OES is working on fixing the system.


Here's what we know: (UPDATES AS OF 3:50 a.m. PST)

Acres & containment: 4,100 acres, 0% contained.

Injuries: 3 people injured. A firefighter suffered a dislocated shoulder but reset his arm and continued to work.

Damages: At least 20 structures destroyed, unknown amount damaged. 5,000 structures threatened.


Evacuation orders:

  • South of North River Road, North of Oceanside Boulevard, West of Melrose and North Santa Fe, East of Old Grove Road and Douglas Drive 
  • South of Reche Rd. North of Burma Rd. East of Camp Pendleton Eastern Fence Line West of Green Canyon Rd.
  • Areas east of Douglas and north of North River Road are now under MANDATORY evacuation in Oceanside
  • North of SR-76, south of Reche Rd., west of I-15, east of Green Canyon Rd. and W. Mission Rd.
  • South of Reche Rd., West of I-15 Freeway, East of Green Canyon Rd. & S. Mission Rd., North of Hwy 76
  • South of Burma Rd. East of Wilshire North of N. River Rd. West of S. Mission Ave
  • South of SR-76, west of I-15, north of Gopher Canyon Rd., east of East Vista Way and Mission Rd.
  • South of Burma Rd. East of Wilshire North of N. River Rd. West of S. Mission Ave
  • Rancho Monserate Country Club community at 4650 Dulin Rd.
  • Sullivan Middle School located on West Lilac Rd.
  • Bonsall High School at 7350 W. Lilac Rd.
  • Bonsall Elementary School at 31555 Old River Rd.

Evacuation warnings:

  • South of N. River Rd., west of E. Vista Way, north of Bobier Dr., east of Melrose and N. Santa Fe.

RELATED: Lilac Fire resources to know

Evacuation centers:

  • East Valley Community Center (2245 E Valley Pkwy., Escondido)
  • Bostonia Park and Recreation Center (1049 Bostonia St., El Cajon)
  • Stagecoach Community Park (3420 Camino de Los Coches, Carlsbad) FULL
  • Oceanside High School (1 Pirates Cove Way, Oceanside) FULL
  • Palomar College (1140 W. Mission Road, San Marcos)


  • Kearny Villa Rd. between Aero Drive and Balboa Ave. will be closed until Saturday night for San Diego Fire Dept. staging for wildfires.
  • Expect closures along Highway 76 and other North County areas affected by the fire.

Power outages (according to SDG&E outage map):

  • Pala Mesa Resort/Pala Mesa Village/Bonsal (Reason: "SDG&E is assessing the outage to determine the cause.")
  • N Couser Canyon/Lilac/Pala, S Couser Canyon/Lilac/Castle Creek, Pala Mesa Resort/Pala Mesa Village/Bonsal, Bonsall/Camino Del Rey Downs/Gopher Canyon. (Reason: "We've turned off the power for safety.")
  • Rainbow/ Rice Canyon/ Pala Mesa Village, NE Fallbrook (Reason: "We've turned off the power for safety.")
  • Gopher Canyon (Reason: "We've turned off the power for safety.")
  • Pala (Reason: "We've turned off the power for safety.")
  • S Couser Canyon/ Lilac/ Castle Creek, Bonsall/ Camino Del Rey Downs/ Gopher Canyon (Reason: "We've turned off the power for safety.")


Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation for San Diego County due to the Lilac Fire. The declaration frees San Diego up to use state and federal resources to battle the blaze.

PHOTOS: Lilac Fire strikes in NorthCounty

Cal Fire said the fire was, "growing at a dangerous rate of spread with structures threatened."

Cal Fire crews deployed air and ground resources shortly after the report. SDG&E is also assisting with an "Erickson Air-Crane," which can carry 2,650 gallons of water. Cleveland National Forest firefighters are also assisting with 1 helicopter, two engine strike teams, and one water tender. Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department is also assisting with a water tender.

RELATED: High winds wreak havoc in San Diego County

Wind gusts have been recorded at 40-50 mph in the area, according to the National Weather Service.When wind speeds are above 30-35 mph, pilots assisting with aerial water drops will have the discretion of where to fly, Cal Fire Capt. John Hagee said. Hagee said that's also when air drops become less effective.

RELATED: Social media reacts to Lilac Fire in San Diego County

Cal Fire sent some resources to Los Angeles to battle a series of devastating wildfires but kept some equipment in San Diego to cover flare-ups like this, Hagee said.


  • 10NEWS REPORT: Getting the right fire and wind insurance
  • Erikson Aircrane available to fight fires, courtesy of SDG&E