Rock Fire: Evacuation orders lifted as crews battle fire in Fallbrook

Posted at 4:21 PM, Jul 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 21:24:48-04

FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) - Residents forced to flee from the Rock Fire in the North County over the weekend were allowed to return to their homes Sunday.

According to Cal Fire, all evacuation orders were lifted early Sunday evening. Sandia Creek Road at Rock Mountain Road was reopened for residents only, the agency said.

As of Monday evening, the blaze has burned 207 acres and is 90 percent contained. No injuries and structure damage have been reported.

RELATED: PHOTOS: 1,000 structures destroyed or damaged as wildfire rages in NorCal

Cal Fire officials said about 60 firefighters will continue to focus on “constructing containment lines, mopping up hot spots, and suppression repair.”

The fire erupted at around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, near Sandia Creek Road and Rock Mountain Road. It quickly crew to more than 200 acres before crews stopped its forward rate of spread later in the evening.

10News met Fallbrook resident, Martha Gott, at the Santa Margarita Preserve parking lot off De Luz Rd. She said driving down the hill through the fire was a frightening experience.

“There were flames on both sides, and the Trooper said, ‘Go ahead’ and ‘go on.’ I sat there, and he just said, ‘Follow me, and stay over to your left,’ so I did,” said Gott.

The Iowa native, who moved to Fallbrook last year, has never been through a wildfire. She was not prepared.

“I got my dogs, and that’s about it,” Gott said.

Cal Fire Capt. Issac Sanchez reminded residents who live in fire-prone areas to always be alert and ready.

“We always want people to have that evacuation plan in place, prior to the knock on the door,” Sanchez said. “Have those important papers collected in a spot, have those medications and everything you’re going to need to be outside of your home for potentially an extended period of time.”

With no family in the area, Gott took shelter at Fallbrook High School most of Saturday. The dogs spent their time uncomfortably in a kennel there. By 9 p.m. that evening, all the evacuees found a place to stay, except Gott and her pups. Then, Gott said a stranger came to her rescue.

“The assistant superintendent, Jose Iniguez, invited me to his home. He gave me a room with the dogs, and so we slept there last night,” Gott smiled. “It was wonderful. Way above and beyond the call of duty.”

In the meantime, Gott will wait with her dogs in her car outside the closed roads, hoping that things will get back to normal.

RELATED: Rock Fire in Fallbrook threatens homes, burns hundreds of acres

“I want to get back to the house soon,” she said.

Fallbrook High school is no longer a designated evacuation center. Instead, the local Red Cross is asking those who are displaced to call their number: 858-309-1200. Red Cross staff will help families on an individual, case by case basis.

For updated Cal Fire information on the Rock Fire, click here.