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Updated: Fire Near Del North High School Causing Residential Evacuations

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Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

This article was updated at 2:16 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Wind-stoked flames tore over open swaths of land near Del Norte High School today, blackening scores of acres and forcing residential evacuations but causing no immediate reported structural damage.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 10:40 a.m. amid hot, dry and gusty Santa Ana conditions off Camino San Bernardo, near Nighthawk Lane in Rancho Penasquitos, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Within less than two hours, the flames had scorched about 65 open acres as it moved to the west toward the 4S Ranch and Santa Luz communities, according to Cal Fire. Crews from various agencies attacked the flames on the ground and aboard air tankers and water-dropping helicopters.

In the early afternoon, authorities were conducting evacuations and closing traffic lanes along Camino del Sur and Del Sur Court, according to San Diego police.

Students at the high school near the point of the fire's origin were directed to remain in their classrooms as a precaution, as were pupils at Del Sur and Stone Ranch elementary schools and Oak Valley middle school, said Jessica Wakefield, spokeswoman for Poway Unified School District.

"So we're watching the fire, and we're talking to the fire department to monitor the situation," Wakefield said during the noon hour.

No serious air quality issues were reported at any of the campuses, though the smoke was fairly thick at Del Sur Elementary, she said.

—City News Service

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