A wildfire just west of San Diego Zoo Safari Park -- the third to break out in the same area in the past month -- led to evacuations on Monday (August 13) afternoon and forced the closure of the country highway that fronts the popular wild-animal exhibition grounds.
The blaze broke out in the San Pasqual area shortly before 3 p.m. (2200GMT), according to Cal Fire.
Sheriff's deputies moved some people from their homes as ground crews and personnel aboard firefighting aircraft worked to subdue the flames. The nearby zoological tourist attraction, meanwhile, closed early due to the emergency.
Within two hours, the blaze, dubbed the Cloverdale Fire, had grown to about 40 acres, the state agency reported.
It was unclear what sparked the fires.