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Firefighters make 'significant progress' on San Diego County blazes

Evacuations being lifted in northern San Diego County fires
Poinsettia and Cocos fires in northern San Diego County wildfires have stopped spreading, officials say

Firefighters made substantial progress Saturday in containing brush fires that have burned more than 27,000 acres in northern San Diego County, Cal Fire said Sunday.

"Cooler weather yesterday continued to aid firefighters as they made significant progress toward containment on the remaining” brush fires, said Capt. Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But he added that firefighters are concerned that hotter weather may return in midweek.

The region's two most destructive fires -- the Poinsettia fire in Carlsbad and the Cocos fire in San Marcos -- have stopped spreading, fire officials said.

Most evacuation orders have been lifted for the Cocos fire. "A repopulation within the Cocos fire continues," said Cal Fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser.

The 600-acre Poinsettia fire, which destroyed eight single-family homes and a 18-unit apartment building, is 100% contained, and the 2,500-acre Cocos fire, which destroyed up to 12 homes and two dozen cabins and other structures at a spiritual retreat, is 85% contained, Cal-Fire said.

The Cocos fire attack is confined to a mop-up of hot spots, Bortisser said.

The region's largest fires -- the Pulgas fire and the San Mateo fire at Camp Pendleton and the Tomahawk fire at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook adjacent to Camp Pendleton -- are also coming under control, Cal Fire said.

None of the three blazes on the military bases destroyed any structures. Evacuation orders have been lifted by the commanding general.

The 5,400-acre Tomahawk fire is 97% contained, the 14,416-acres Pulgas blaze is 55% contained, and the 1,457-acre San Mateo fire is 65% contained, Cal-Fire said.

The three fires burned 18% of the acreage of sprawling bases, officials said.

At the height of the fires last week more than 5,000 firefighters from Cal Fire and local and federal agencies were fighting nearly a dozen wildfires being pushed by strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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