ALPINE — An illegal campfire was blamed for sparking a blaze that consumed 1,400 acres of brush and forced the evacuation of residents in rural San Diego County on Saturday.
The fire, which began about 2:30 p.m. near Alpine, continued to burn out of control Saturday night.
More than 300 firefighters from state and federal forestry agencies battled the fire in Cleveland National Forest, just northeast of the Loveland Reservoir, California Department of Forestry officials said.
Six helicopters, 11 air tankers, and more than 50 engines were called in to battle the fire, whose smoke could be seen in downtown San Diego, about 30 miles to the west.
One firefighter suffering from heat exhaustion was flown to a hospital but no residents were injured as of late Saturday, officials said.
Hundreds of Hidden Glen residents were evacuated because the blaze was threatening their homes but it was unclear where they would go, Sheriff's Lt. Dan Greenblat said.
"To my knowledge, we're not telling them where to go, we're telling them to evacuate the area for their own safety," he said.
No homes have been destroyed, but a mobile home was damaged, as were three greenhouses, numerous abandoned cars and trucks and several sheds, forestry officials said.
Forestry officials said the wind-whipped blaze began as a campfire in the Loveland Reservoir area. It was set illegally in an area outside those designated for campfires.
San Diego County sheriff's deputies at the Descanso Detention Facility in Alpine were prepared to evacuate 280 inmates by bus to the East Mesa Maximum Detention Facility, Greenblat said.