New fires burn in Carlsbad, Camp Pendleton, Long Beach, Anaheim (updated)

A firefighter pours water onto a fully engulfed home Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Carlsbad, Calif. A brush fire Wednesday forced evacuation of thousands of people in the city of Carlsbad where at least two homes burned amid a Southern California heat wave that sparked several blazes.
A firefighter pours water onto a fully engulfed home Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Carlsbad, Calif. A brush fire Wednesday forced evacuation of thousands of people in the city of Carlsbad where at least two homes burned amid a Southern California heat wave that sparked several blazes.

Thursday fire updates are at this link.

A number of fires are burning throughout Southern California as the area faces high temperatures and winds. Fifty fire engines are en route to San Diego to assist, and military helicopters may be available, according to San Diego County. Here's a rundown:


School Closures

Schools in at least 20 San Diego area districts will be closed Thursday. The San Diego County Office of Education has provided the following list of what will be closed:

Bonsall Union
Carlsbad Unified
Del Mar Union
Encinitas Union
Escondido Union Elementary
Escondido Union High
Fallbrook Union Elementary
Fallbrook Union High
Grossmont Union High
Lakeside Union
La Mesa-Spring Valley
Lemon Grove
Oceanside Unified
Poway Unified
Ramona Unified
Rancho Santa Fe
San Dieguito Union High
San Marcos Unified
San Pasqual Union
Solana Beach
Valley Center-Pauma Unified
Vista Unified

Update 7 p.m. CSU San Marcos closed through May 18

California State San Marcos is closed through May 18 and its commencement ceremonies planned for May 17 and 18 have been cancelled, the school announced on twitter.

"The safety of our students, faculty, staff & their families is our primary concern," the school tweeted.

FEMA has authorized funds for a DC-10 aircraft, San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn said in a news conference Wednesday night. 


A fire in the San Marcos area has prompted evacuations at California State University San Marcos.

san marcos fire

Escondido Fire officials say an active vegetation fire that started around 3:20 p.m. is burning in Coronado Hills, near State Route 78 and Twin Oaks Valley Road, NBC-LA reported. 

Evacuations are in effect for the following areas, according to NBC-LA:

  • North San Elijo Hills, Discovery Hills, Discovery Meadows and Coronado Hills areas.
  • Mandatory evacuation for all neighborhoods south of San Marcos Blvd., including the Lake San Marcos area. 

San Marcos Fire

The southbound lanes of Highway 395 were blocked and CalTrans reported that both the northbound and southbound Interstate-15 off-ramps to SR 76 were closed, ABC-10 reported.

The fire has grown to at least 50 acres and is threatening homes, according to Cal Fire, and evacuations are underway.

Poinsettia Fire Fire Tracker

Update 7:08 p.m. About 400 acres burned, 10 percent containment

Officials provided the following update at a news conference at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday:

  • Preliminary assessment of 400 acres burned 
  • 10 percent containment
  • Fire spreading west in slow pace
  • 2 commercial buildings destroyed
  • 1 apartment complex damage to attic
  • 8 lost single family homes

Update 6:41 p.m. Offramp reopened

Poinsettia Fire

Update 5:50 p.m. More structures damaged

Eight homes, an eight-unit apartment complex and one commercial structure have been damaged by the Carlsbad fire, according to the City of Carlsbad.  

No utilities, such as water and sewer, have been disrupted, the City said on its website.

Thursday closures include:  

  • All City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation facilities, with the exception of the Carlsbad Senior Center, located at 799 Pine Ave. The Senior Center will be open normal hours with regularly scheduled services 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Carlsbad City Library on Dove Lane

Cole Library and the Library Learning Center will be open. 

The City of Carlsbad Mayor and City Manager have signed an emergency declaration allowing the City of Carlsbad to receive emergency funding, the City said. 

Update 4:20 p.m. Carlsbad schools closed for two days: The forward rate of the Carlsbad fire has been stopped but there are “days of work ahead,” and a lot of hot spots to deal with, Nick Schuler, battalion chief with Calfire, said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

More than 50 engines are coming to assist with the fire, Schuler said, in addition to the 52 engine companies and 150 firefighters that have already responded.

The 23,000 calls that went out Wednesday morning were a combination of mandatory evacuations, information and precautionary evacuations, Carlsbad Fire Chief Mike Davis said.

Three structures have been destroyed and 12 to 15 structures have been damaged, Davis said, despite earlier reports of 30 homes destroyed. 

The Superintendent of Carlsbad Unified School District said all schools in the district will be closed Thursday and Friday so families can deal with evacuations and home damage.

Mandatory evacuations are still in place in the following area, according to Davis:

-East of Aviara Parkway (College turns into Aviara) as it gets to the top of the hill from Palomar Airport Road.

-South of Palomar Airport Road just east of El Camino Real and Alicante Road

“It’s difficult to determine the area of damage and whether people can move back into homes, especially in Aviara Oaks,” said Davis.

Davis and Schuler said they have a “gut feel” that the Carlsbad fire has consumed 100 to 120 acres but are waiting for official updates.

The evacuation center has been reassigned to Sears at the mall.

Another Carlsbad official noted at the conference that he would put the containment of the fire at 0 percent, currently. 

Earlier: San Diego County declared a local emergency, according to their Twitter account.

Poinsettia Elementary and Aviara Oaks Elementary and Middle schools are being evacuated, according to the Carlsbad Unified School District. San Diego Gas & Electric shut off power to some customers for safety purposes, according to the County.

Video from Carlsbad

Legoland was evacuated as a safety precaution, according to the park's Facebook page, noting that it was affected by several power outages and local fires.

Westfield Plaza Camino Real has been set as an evacuation site.

Carlsbad fire instagram

Update 6:35 p.m.

The Tomahawk fire that started on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook has burned approximately 6,000 acres and has moved onto Camp Pendleton, according to a statement from the Marine Corps base.

Camp Pendleton personnel in the 14-Area have been ordered to shelter in place.


Some employees have been evacuated at San Onofre as a precaution:

San Onofre Pendleton fire

Tomahawk Fire

Officials say the fire has spread to more than 100 acres, the Associated Press reports.

KTLA tweet

Flames from a burning big rig on Interstate 5 on the northern Camp Pendleton coast have spread to about 3 acres of brush, according to the AP. 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.

The fire was burning aboard the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook and was reported at about 9:45 a.m., according to the Scout.

Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School on the base has also been ordered to evacuate. Evacuees are being sent to Camp Pendleton's Paige Field House.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Power lines were down and winds were blowing at 15 to 20 mph from the east, according to the fire department.

The fire department said that the fire's progress was stopped on the north side and that 100 firefighters were either already on the scene or en route. The fire was still burning toward the west in the center divider and south shoulder of the highway. They added that a helicopter air attack was also underway.

“There’s some damage to some shrubbery that runs alongside the 91 freeway, but beyond that any other damage associated with it is very minimal," said Dunn.

The 91 freeway west-bound is now open, and there are limited openings east-bound, he said. E Street in Anaheim is closed for a few more hours as they clean up the road. All evacuations have been lifted there.

-- KPCC's Rebecca Plevin 

Earlier: A brush fire is burning off the eastbound 91 near Raymond Street and East Street. Both sides of the freeway were closed due to the fire.

"There is a possibility that ... live wires might be falling across the freeways," Orange County traffic official John Latosquin tells KPCC. "And that's the reason why Anaheim PD requested for us to close down the freeways."

Latosquin advised commuters to stay off the 91 Freeway in that area. He advised using alternate routes, either exiting before getting to that area or using the 57 or 5 freeways to bypass the area.

The electric company was en route to look at power poles in that area that may be damaged.

Embers blew from east to west side, affecting the 405 and 118 transition.

Five engine companies and air assistance helped to knock down the fire.

Authorities are in the process of opening southbound 405 lanes 1 and 2 and Moore said, “it looks like we will be able to open up the HOV lane as well as lanes 1 and 2” on the northbound 405 freeway. 

Earlier: Firefighters were battling a blaze that was burning trees along embankments of the 405 and 118 freeways in Mission Hills in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday afternoon, reports NBC4

Lanes were closed on the 405 Freeway near Nordhoff Street as firefighters battled the road side brush fire.

This story has been updated.