Newest California Fire Burns Homes, Horses In San Diego Area
(CBS News) — California’s newest wildfire tore through retirement communities built on golf courses and killed elite thoroughbred horses in its first destructive day. The new blaze, in San Diego County, means a huge swath of Southern California is now in flames. December’s shockingly dry, hot and windy conditions brought on unprecedented fire danger.
The San Diego-area fire quickly grew to more than 6 square miles and burned dozens of homes at Rancho Monserate Country Club. Flames engulfed a horse training center, prompting trainers to unlock stables and encourage hundreds of race horses to run for their lives. It’s not clear how many died.
The destructive blaze broke out as firefighters tried to corral the largest fire in the state, which was burning around Ventura – 130 miles to the north. It destroyed at least 439 buildings as it grew to 180 square miles since Monday. Fire crews also fought large fires around Los Angeles. The Ventura and L.A.-area fires put tens of thousands of people under evacuation orders.
According to CalFire, as of very late Thursday night, six large fires had burned 220 square miles, 190,000 residents were evacuated, 23,000 homes were threatened, 500 were confirmed destroyed and there were 5,700 firefighters on the lines.
A woman was found dead in a wrecked car in an evacuation zone near the city of Santa Paula, where the Ventura County blaze began Monday night, but officials couldn’t immediately say whether the accident was fire-related.
Follow along below for live updates on the fires. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.
10:35 a.m.: Wildfire containment updates
Here are the latest acreage and containment figures for each of the six major wildfires burning in Southern California:
- Creek Fire: 15,323 acres, 40 percent contained
- Rye Fire: 6,049 acres, 35 percent contained
- Thomas Fire: 132,000 acres, 10 percent contained
- Skirball Fire: 475 acres, 30 percent contained
- Lilac Fire: 4,100 acres, zero percent contained
- Liberty Fire: 300 acres, 10 percent contained
9:55 a.m.: Evacuation orders lifted in Creek Fire
CBS Los Angeles reports evacuation orders have been lifted in Sylmar. Residents are returning home to assess the level of damage that was caused by the Creek Fire.
Firefighters say flames destroyed nearly three dozen homes in the area. Several other properties were damaged in the fire.