San Diego

Crews Battling 25-Acre Brush Fire Burning Near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The cause of the fire, which Cal Fire says was target shooting, is now under criminal investigation

A criminal investigation has been launched in the 25-acre brush fire that burned near the popular Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Sunday.

The fire broke out around 1:15 p.m. near Wilson Road off Montezuma Valley Road. The location is in Ranchita, near Warner Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, northeast of San Diego.

Cal Fire called out a full response to battle what the agency named the Wilson Fire. It spread at a moderate rate until it was surrounded before the sun set. 

Ranchita residents Virginia and Alex told NBC 7 they were warned by San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies to be prepared to evacuate. 

Then, they were told to leave "now." 

The couple from Alpine had just moved to their retirement home about six weeks ago. 

"We weren't expecting it so soon I mean we know it's fire country," said Virginia.

Alex said, "I think California is burning up." 

The fire was sparked by target shooters, according to Cal Fire, and the cause is under criminal investigation as officials search for the suspects. 

No structures were threatened. 

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