Intense Fire Fight Continues In San Diego County As Some Residents Return To Burned-Out Homes
ESCONDIDO (CBSLA.com) — Firefighters battled a series of brush and wild fires around San Diego County for a fourth consecutive day.
Authorities said five active fires are still raging — San Marcos, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Bonsall and Rancho Bernardo.
Officials said the Rancho Bernardo fire is about 90 percent contained as of 5 p.m. Friday.
In total, more than 19,000 acres have burned.
Tens of thousands of people remain under evacuation order.
Firefighters on Friday were concentrating their efforts on the San Marcos and Camp Pendleton fires, officials said.
KCAL9′s Tom Wait reported from Escondido where at least eight homes and a condo complex burned to the ground.
“Everything is gone,” said Jack Whitling of his aunt’s home. “The fire just blew down the hills. We managed to keep my mom’s house and the house next door.”
Whitling lived in the neighborhood since 1968 and had never seen fires this close or intense.
His aunt got out safely even though her house is a total loss.
“She’s okay, she’s trying to keep a positive attitude,” said Whitling, “Grandmas aren’t replaceable, houses are.”
Two teens have been arrested on suspicion of arson for allegedly setting fires near Escondido.
One of the teens has been identified as 19-year-0ld Isiah Silva. The other has not been identified because he is underage.
“That is sick behavior,” said Jeff Buchanan, a Whitling neighbor.
Buchanan told Wait he ignored evacuation orders.
“I don’t know how high the flames were but they were almost as high as a pine tree,” Buchanan said, “That’s probably 50 feet.”