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Southern California crews contain destructive Poinsettia fire

Wildfires
#PoinsettiaFire contained at 400 acres, multiple homes, apartments destroyed
#CocosFire grows to 3,018 acres, still just 10% contained

One of the more destructive wildfires in San Diego County has been fully contained after burning more than 400 acres and destroying multiple homes and apartment buildings, officials said mid-morning Friday.

While not the largest in terms of acreage, the Poinsettia fire in Carlsbad destroyed eight homes, an 18-unit apartment complex, two commercial buildings and a modular building. A second 18-unit apartment complex suffered a considerable amount of damage, while three other homes had minor damage.

All road closures and evacuations had been lifted as fire crews continued to respond to reports of hot spots. For safety reasons, Carlsbad police were still controlling access to three streets that saw most of the destruction.

The 1,548-acre Bernardo fire southwest of Rancho Bernardo was also nearly contained at 90%, officials reported.

Just three other brush fires that erupted in San Diego County this week were still not fully contained, officials said Friday morning.

Two are on military bases: the 8,000-acre Las Pulgas fire on Camp Pendleton and the 6,300-acre Tomahawk fire at at the adjacent Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook.

The other, the Cocos fire in San Marcos, had increased in size to 3,018 acres and remained just 10% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. More than 1,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Officials said evacuation notices covering 13,000 San Marcos homes and businesses had been issued.

As of Friday morning, Cal Fire had listed only three structures as having been destroyed, but that number was expected to increase. 

San Marcos homeowner James Harkins, surveying his neighborhood, called it "moonscape."

"There ain’t nothing here,” he said. “Just white ash and white ash and white ash.”

Forecasts of onshore winds, cooler temperatures and higher humidity were fanning hopes for better firefighting conditions Friday through the weekend. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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