Mass Evacuations Lifted As Crews Battle California Wildfire

Credit: CBS 8

Thousands of people have been allowed to return home after a wind-driven wildfire forced mass evacuations in Southern California Tuesday.

More than 20,000 homes were told to evacuate after flames erupted late Tuesday morning and got dangerously close to residential areas in the San Diego area. San Diego's CBS affiliate says the Bernardo Fire, as it's being called, exploded to 850 acres on the same day it started as it burned through canyons in between high-end subdivisions.

Crews were able to get the active flames extinguished by nightfall. The fire is currently 25 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. Officials say its now about 1,450 acres in size.

The mass evacuations Tuesday included hundreds of elementary school students, who were evacuated by bus early Tuesday afternoon.

All evacuations were lifted by Tuesday night.

The fire chief and San Diego mayor praised firefighters for their quick work getting the active fire controlled and protecting houses, and praised the community for the orderly evacuation.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.