10 large wildfires burn in California

Many evacuate the areas, some allowed back

May 16, 2014


Some evacuation orders were lifted early today in an area near the fiercest of several wildfires in San Diego County, as crews building containment lines around the blazes hoped cooler temperatures will help them make further progress.

A flare-up Thursday in the north San Diego suburb prompted more than 18,000 new evacuation notices as flames raced through tinder-dry brush on hillsides. That fire was 10 percent contained this morning.

Ten major fires have destroyed at least eight houses, an 18-unit condominium complex and two businesses since Tuesday. The hardest-hit areas were in San Marcos and Carlsbad, a suburb of 110,000 people that lifted evacuation orders late Thursday.

Of the 10 large-scale fires burning in the region, structures have been reported lost in two: the Cocos fire in San Marcos and the Poinsettia fire in Carlsbad.

The region’s most “active” blaze remains the 1,200 Cocos fire. More than 1,000 firefighters are assigned to that fire, with some coming from fighting other fires in the region.

Some evacuation orders remain in place for the Cocos fire. Several hundred people were at evacuation centers, as well as more than 80 dogs, cats and birds taken in by two shelters.

Police are investigating the causes of the fires.

Two teens were arrested Thursday evening after police say they started at least two brush fires in San Diego’s Escondido area, as a number of larger fires raged across the county.

The Las Pulgas fire on camp Pendleton has burned more than 8,000 acres, officials said, forcing evacuations and road closures. The Tomahawk fire at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook adjacent to Camp Pendleton has burned more than 6,300 acres.

No structures have been destroyed in either fire, and the only reported injury was a firefighter treated for heat exhaustion.

A red flag warning, which means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly, are in effect in Hanford, Oxnard and San Diego, according to the National Weather Service.


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