Pala house fire ignites brush, scorches 45 acres

Posted at 3:03 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 20:09:52-04
PALA, Calif. -- A brush fire in the Pala area of the North County is 15 percent contained Wednesday morning and holding steady at about 45 acres, authorities said.
Flames that spread from a burning house to trees and brush Tuesday afternoon blackened swaths of hilly open land and forced evacuations of hundreds of residences as a precaution, according to Cal Fire officials.
The blaze initially engulfed a two-story home on Pala Temecula Road about 2 p.m. Tuesday. The flames soon ignited adjacent foliage and began moving through heavy vegetation, said Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser.
Within 2 1/2 hours, the burn area east of Interstate 15 and roughly a mile south of the Riverside County line had grown to about 45 acres as crews fought the blaze by ground and aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters. 
About 200 firefighters from San Diego and Riverside Counties have been on the fire throughout night and into the morning. High levels of moisture and little wind was a good sign for firefighters Wednesday morning. Helicopters would continue to drop fire retardant throughout the day. 
No other structures have been damaged and no injuries reported. Investigators had not yet determined what caused the house fire.