Just minutes after fire crews got a handle on a brush fire in Rancho San Diego on Wednesday afternoon, a second blaze erupted in Carlsbad, this one in a heavily populated residential neighborhood.
The three-alarm Park Fire in North County broke out at about 2 p.m. and burned along Park Drive from Adams Street to Hillside Drive in the coastal city, just a few blocks from the eastern portion of the Aqua Hedionda Lagoon.
Just after 3:15 p.m., SoCal OPs, the Southern California branch of the California Pilots Association said that, while the fire was still active in its interior area, the forward spread was stopped and the threat to structures mitigated. It's not yet known if any structures were damaged by the fire. Carlsbad police said shortly after 3:30 p.m. that Cal Fire was still doing water drops in the area and urged residents to still stay clear of the area.
Earlier in the afternoon, Carlsbad police had been instructing anyone in Bristol Cove and Capri -- from Adams Street and Park Drive to Highland Drive -- to evacuate, specifically residents living on Sunburst Road, Hillside Drive north, Neblina Drive, Easton Cove Drive south, Hoover Street, Seabluff Circle and Coastline Avenue. Police told evacuees to go to the Shoppes of Carlsbad west parking lot.
Evacuations were lifted at around 6 p.m., but Carlsbad Police said Park Drive would be closed to vehicles between Cove Drive and Bayshore Drive as firefighters cleaned up. The road closure was lifted about two hours later.
A large plume of smoke drifted over the neighborhood, where hundreds of homes are located, burning about 3 acres. For a time it was spreading rapidly in the residential neighborhood, and firefighters spotted burning embers on the roof of an apartment complex in a neighborhood, authorities said.
Firefighting aircraft helped battle the blaze, with aerial tankers originally on the scene, and helicopters pitching in as well.
Meanwhile, the Campo Fire in Rancho San Diego was first reported at around 1 p.m. near Jamacha Road and Campo Road. Cal Fire said the fire quickly grew to 15 acres before it, too, was brought under control by firefighters.
The cause of the Carlsbad fire is still being investigated, though Carlsbad police did tell NBC 7 later in the afternoon that the fire was a crime scene.