San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies arrested two teenagers, accused of using a homemade Molotov cocktail that sparked a fire and caused evacuations late Wednesday.
The fire burned in a riverbed in Deer Springs, a community located northwest of Valley Center and east of Interstate 15.
Flames were reported at 8:10 p.m. near Platanus and Gracilior drives in unincorporated Escondido, marching up the riverbed's embankment and toward 50 to 60 homes.
The teenagers, ages 14 and 13, told deputies they were at a friend's house making a Molotov cocktail with an empty beer bottle and a paper towel for a wick.
The teens lighted the device and threw it against a boulder on a hillside with a lot of dry brush.
When the fire started, the teens told deputies they put out the flames but as they walked away, the fire reignited.
The minors then panicked and ran back to their friends' home, investigators said.
[G]Fire Burns Near Homes in Deer Springs
The flames spread quickly up the hillside towards Ridgeway Creek Road, scorching about 15 acres and getting dangerously close to dozens of homes.
Voluntary evacuations were issued by deptuies for those residents living along Platanus Drive. Circle R Drive was closed down to West Lilac Road.
Cal Fire crews stopped the blaze's spread at about 15 acres as of Wednesday night. Officials say the fire had the potential to be much worse with the thick brush and steep terrain in the area.