San Diego

Cal Fire Says Utility Worker Sparked 15-Acre Pauma Valley Brush Fire

Authorities said a utility worker repairing phone lines caused a 15-acre brush fire near a country club in Pauma Valley Monday afternoon, according to Cal Fire San Diego.

The blaze began just before 1:30 p.m. near Pauma Valley Drive.

The fire later climbed up a hillside, spread across trees, and sent thick white smoke into the air that was seen from miles away.

The blaze was burning close to the Pauma Valley Country Club and its golf course.

At 1:48 p.m., Cal Fire San Diego said the fire had a "moderate to critical rate of spread."

One hour later, the department tweeted the fire had reached 15 acres.

Bulldozers, fire engines, and hand crews made a natural break on a road at the top of the hillside that was able to stop the fire from spreading higher.

Just before 4 p.m., Cal Fire San Diego confirmed the fire was contained.

“It’s just the beginning. I've lived in North County my entire life, and I’ve seen this happen over and over again. I’ve had friends who lost houses out in the San Marcos fire. This is just part of the way it is to live out here. There’s a price for paradise,” said Christopher Jordan, whose parents live in the area.

The temperature in the area surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was a steady breeze.

Multiple helicopters could be seen making water and fire retardant drops to try and douse the flames.

Officials said there was no immediate threat to any surrounding structures, and no evacuations were ordered.

Cal Fire San Diego, the California Highway Patrol, and other local agencies responded.

Crews will continue to monitor hot spots in the burn area.

No other information was available.

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