Bernardo fire in San Diego County doubles in size, is 25% contained

The brush fire that erupted Tuesday in northern San Diego County has now burned more than 1,550 acres, but no homes have been damaged, officials reported early Wednesday.

The Bernardo fire is now 25% contained after firefighters worked through the night to cut fire lines in brushy canyons. All evacuation orders for hundreds of homes have since been lifted in the city and adjoining unincorporated areas.


Driven by hot, dry, erratic winds, the fire was spotted shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday near Rancho Bernardo and by 6:30 p.m. had burned more than 800 acres and was considered 5% contained.

In addition to the residential evacuations, animals large and small were taken in by the Helen Woodward Animal Center, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and SeaWorld San Diego.

At a morning media briefing, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer praised the "fantastic teamwork" of firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and local agencies that stopped the blaze from damaging homes, but added "there is a lot of work that remains to be done."

The fire had pushed close to pricey homes before being halted by a joint attack by firefighters on the ground, and water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing craft.

"Obviously the battle is not over," Faulconer said. Two areas of concern remain Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe, officials said.

San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar said that firefighters fought 12 flareups overnight. More than 350 firefighters are battling the blaze, he added.

There have been several minor injuries, mostly heat-related, officials said. No cause for the fire has been determined, officials said.

With higher temperatures expected Wednesday, firefighters hope to have a containment of 50% or more at day's end.