Wildfires scorch San Diego County


Gretchen Miller

Three photos show the progression of the Cocos fire which started near Cal State San Marcos on May 14.

While the Poinsettia Fire gained the most attention from Carlsbad residents due to its close proximity, multiple fires were fought across San Diego County. Within Carlsbad, too, firefighters sought to contain several more fires. As Santa Ana winds spread the fires, air tankers, military helicopters and DC-10s aided to contain the flames.

Bernardo Fire: Starting on May 13th, it threatened much of Rancho Santa Fe and caused many residents to be evacuated. It was contained on the 17th but only after burning 1,548 acres.

Freeway Fire: It began on May 14th near the Naval Station in Fallbrook. However, Camp Pendleton reacted quickly to contain the fire, and as a result, only 56 acres were burned.

Tomahawk Fire: This fire also started on the 14th, igniting 5,367 acres in Pendleton. Dry brush exacerbated the situation for firefighters and led to much more damage.

Cocos Fire: On the 14th, this fire burned San Marcos. Currently, firefighters have it 96 percent contained. It has burned 1,995 acres, destroying 36 residential buildings and one residential complex. The projected containment is May 23.

River Fire: Once again, the fire began on the 14th due to poor weather. It was contained on the 19th after burning 105 acres.

Pointsettia Fire: On the 14th in Carlsbad, it forced residents in danger zones to evacuate. By the 17th, it was under control thanks to the quick reactions of firefighters. In total, 600 acres were burned in the three days.

Highway Fire: Also on the 14th but east of Fallbrook, this fire was near Old Highway 395 and I-15. Firefighters had it contained by the following day. Within one day, though, it burned 380 acres and prompted multiple road closures.

Pulgas Fire: The only fire to begin on the 15th, the Pulgas Fire burned 8,000 acres of Pendleton.

After these fires, the California of Forestry and Fire Protection declared May 4 to May 10 Wild Fire Awareness Week. With the current two-and-a-half year drought, preventing fires and preparing residents only increases in importance. To find information on preventing fires–or check up on status of current ones– CAL FIRE provides necessary information.