The massive San Marcos fire which has been raging overnight in Southern California saw fire crews step up the pace in their efforts to get the wildfire under control. Air units were called in to drop water on the flames as the blaze scorched through the hills of San Marcos.
The fire extended overnight from 600 acres to 800 acres, focused mainly on dry brush area, which made fighting the fire more complex. According to officials. only 5 percent of the San Marcos fire was actually contained by Thursday morning as even more military helicopters and planes were dispatches to assist fire crews.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said to reporters: “The grass out there is nothing but kindling,” and some residents in threatened parts of the city were still forbidden from returning to their homes. At least nine separate blazes were whipped up by intense heat and strong winds and at least 9,000 acres across 14 square miles was scorched.
The city of Carlsbad also suffered as a result of the fire, although the blaze there was about 60 percent contained by the early hours of Thursday. Carlsbad Fire Chief Michael Davis said firefighters are still fighting the fires there: “I would put all of that fire in a precarious situation,” said Davis, warning drivers to stay off the roads.
Meanwhile Carlsbad Police Chief Gary Morrison said that it could be the case that the fires were started deliberately: “Certainly if it’s of a criminal nature, we will persevere with prosecution of the appropriate parties,” he said.
Many homeowners were also affected seriously by the San Marcos fire. Greg Saska, for example, told NBC News: “I tried to make it as good as possible, but naturally who cares right now, you know? House is gone. Our home is right where the fires started. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for anything. No warning.”
Temperatures are expected to reach record highs in the area on Thursday; wind gusts of up to 40 mph are also anticipated.