Several apartment buildings were threatened by a seven-acre vegetation fire near Montecito Road and Ramona Street in Ramona Saturday afternoon.
Cal Fire got a call about a trash fire around 2:45 p.m. and when crews responded it spread to the grass.
Firefighters made overhead drops and were able to contain the flames in about two hours.
San Diego County Sheriffs deputies evacuated many apartments and townhouses in the area.
"Not even 10 to 15 minutes in, the flames had gone from in the middle over there to behind our apartment, and that's when everyone had hoses outside trying to wet everything down," resident Bobbie Taylor told NBC 7.
After two hours, residents were allowed back into their homes.
No structures were damaged.