Brush Fire Burns in North County

Pauma Fire

Firefighters were sent out to state Route 76 on Wednesday morning to battle a brush fire in Pauma Valley.

The Pauma Fire, in the 17000 block of state Route 76 and west of Valley Center Road, burned two acres by 10:30 a.m., officials said.

Ground crews and firefighting aircraft were called to the fire, which burned in a field not far from some structures.

Authorities with the San Diego County Sheriff's office told NBC 7 that the one of the department's ASTREA helicopters began following a stolen car around 8:45 a.m. The vehicle ended up stopping at an orange grove in Pauma Valley. The heat from the car is believed to have started a fire in dry brush at the site, officials said, who added that they have established a perimeter to search for the stolen-car suspect.

Officials said that the rate of the fire's spread was slow and there were only light fuels in the area for the flames to feed on.

North County Fire tweeted out that some of its firefighters were being sent to the Pauma Fire to assist Cal Fire crews in their efforts to extinguish the blaze.

Fire crews got a handle on the blaze by 11:15, however, with the aircraft called off and mopping-up operations beginning on the ground.

"Fire spread has been stopped at five acres," Cal Fire San Diego posted on social media at about 11:15 a.m. "Firefighters will remain committed through the afternoon."

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