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At least 30 homes in Southern California destroyed by aggressive wildfire

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A fast-moving wildfire ignited hillsides and destroyed more than two dozen homes Wednesday in the coastal city of Carlsbad as weary firefighters scrambled to control multiple blazes in Southern California on the second day of a sweltering heat wave.

Flames were shooting up along canyon ridges as thick black smoke darkened blue skies over the small city, about 30 miles north of San Diego, known for its Legoland California amusement park that was closed Wednesday because of a power outage.

Mandatory evacuations were in progress, and more than 11,000 notices were sent to homes and businesses. Local TV broadcasts showed the blaze engulfing suburban-style homes with manicured lawns.

No injuries were reported.

State fire Capt. Mike Moehler told KCAL-TV that all of the homes were in the same neighborhood and engines were being called in from across the region to help.

The blaze was one of several wildfires that firefighters in San Diego County were battling amid hot, dry and windy conditions.

Offshore wind means some coastal communities have higher temperatures than inland and coupled with low humidities, "it's just, unfortunately, a recipe for a large fire and that's what we're seeing right now," Moehler said.

Another wildfire further north, forced the evacuation of residents in military housing at Camp Pendleton, and the closure of an elementary school on the Marine Corps base. A third fire spread from a burning vehicle on coastal Interstate 5 to roadside brush near the northwest corner of the Marine base.

Earlier, authorities reported 25 percent containment of a 2.42-square-mile fire that broke out Tuesday and forced thousands of people to flee the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego. In Santa Barbara County, a 600-acre blaze near the city of Lompoc was 50 percent contained.

State fire officials say triple digit temperatures and the drought were setting conditions for an unusually busy firefighting season.

Marine Corps officials said military fire crews on Wednesday were fighting a blaze that started at about 9:45 a.m. at the Naval Weapons Station in Fallbrook, north of San Diego, and had spread to more than 100 acres. Residents in military housing have been ordered to evacuate. Students at Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School, located on base, were also ordered to go home.

Flames from a burning big rig on Interstate 5 on the northern Camp Pendleton coast have spread to about 3 acres of brush. The California Highway Patrol says at least one lane in each direction remains open, but traffic is backing up. It's unclear why the truck caught fire.

Further south, blazes threatened homes in Carlsbad, and prompted the evacuation of Carrillo Elementary School in the neighboring community of San Marcos.

Evacuation orders were lifted for all of the more than 20,000 residents in and around San Diego on Tuesday night just a few hours after they were called, and all but a handful of those in 1,200 homes and businesses told to evacuate in Santa Barbara County had been allowed to return.

The 2.47-square mile blaze was 25 percent contained. It was hoped that number would increase to 50 percent by day's end, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson said.

The Santa Barbara County blaze, 250 miles to the northwest, was 50 percent contained Wednesday morning. Firefighters also adjusted its size downward to 600 acres.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries - one heat-related and one from smoke inhalation, state fire battalion chief Ray Cheney said. Neither blaze caused any home damage, but another hot, dry and gusty day was expected as California baked in a spring heat wave as high pressure sat over the West.

In the mountains of southwestern New Mexico, crews battling a 9-square mile wildfire are preparing for high winds this week. And in the Texas Panhandle, about 2,100 residents have started returning to their homes after wildfire burned at least 156 structures. The fire in the Fritch area was 85 percent contained Wednesday.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
iamjodys May 14 2014 at 6:40 PM

you're a ******* idiot, Kharma will haunt you, *******!

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2 replies
pat iamjodys May 14 2014 at 7:15 PM

No Habla Englese

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2 replies
onionson pat May 14 2014 at 7:29 PM

If only that were true.

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iamjodys pat May 14 2014 at 10:27 PM

heartless biggot that you are

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onionson iamjodys May 14 2014 at 7:23 PM

Karma, , a major part of Hinduism seems to already haunt you.

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1 reply
iamjodys onionson May 14 2014 at 10:28 PM

shut the **** up *******

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Richard May 14 2014 at 11:01 PM

ca charges a fire fee every year. this never should have happened the state is supposed to keep these fire hazards under control what the hell are they doing with this money they are extorting from us they are not using it for what it is intended for now are they

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2 replies
eedecarli Richard May 14 2014 at 11:15 PM

I pay on two parchels every year, forwhat? if you have a call they send you bill from cal fire.

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akderby Richard May 14 2014 at 11:40 PM

There are people here in CA who set fires every year, they are called Arsonist.

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carocarpenter May 14 2014 at 7:39 PM

S

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carocarpenter May 14 2014 at 7:40 PM

There have always been and always will be fires..will you global warmers shut up already...sick of you liberal idiots

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3 replies
flowymac May 14 2014 at 7:43 PM

how about golly I am so sorry about these homes and the displaced people, why make a studpid political point about it, OMG where are your hearts anyone got one

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Dr Obvious May 14 2014 at 7:50 PM

Obviously the firemen are very brave soles for trying to save peoples lives and property. Unfortunately, the people they are rescueing do not appear to be very smart as a) they knowling built their homes in fire-prone areas (always was/will be), and (per the pics) b) built the homes near combustable material (trees, etc.) in what used to be shaparel, and c) built the homes and fences of wood (instead of brick, stucco, etc.).

Nothing to do with Global Warming - So Cal has always been a shaparel (low brush) area prone to fire. Just dumb people doing dump things for personal reasons.

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5 replies
fernandezarthr May 14 2014 at 7:56 PM

....I hope Nancy Pelosi's house, Burns Down!!!

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9 replies
Olguita May 14 2014 at 8:08 PM

I live in San Diego and at this moment I am looking at the fires around us. Please everyone just for the hell of it let's just leave politics out and either pray and if you don't pray than just give good thoughts that everyone is okay. People are losing their homes, kids are being evacuated from school and have no clue if they have a home to go to. Just have some decency and let's just remember there is a lot to lose here. They are also prepared to move the elderly from facilities along with hospitals and it goes on and on. And this is not counting the law enforcement, firemen and volunteers that work for hours to help people.

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1 reply
lskkma Olguita May 14 2014 at 8:31 PM

I lived in Rancho Penasquitos years ago and remember the terror of those fires, not knowing what would happen next. Rancho Bernardo is just up the road from where we lived. My prayers re with all those families out there and the firefighters working so hard to get and keep things under control... Be Safe

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hokanut May 14 2014 at 8:40 PM

The only structure fire shown is one with tar paper shingles. This is a bad fire but I'd really like to see the stats when it's knocked down. How many homes lost with clay tile roofs?

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1 reply
Mac hokanut May 14 2014 at 9:00 PM

There is no such thing as Tar Paper Shingles. Most fires don't start on the roof. The draft pulls the fire through the vents at the eaves and the fire starts in the attic. .

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Howard May 14 2014 at 8:46 PM

They build houses where there should be none...

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1 reply
katydid579 Howard May 14 2014 at 9:25 PM

That sounds like most of te-xass.

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