The Escondido Police Department said late Thursday that an adult and a juvenile were arrested on suspicion of trying to start a fire as wildfires continued to rage near the city and other areas of northern San Diego County.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the pair had any involvement with the brush fires that have scorched more than 10,000 acres in the county, according to a dispatcher with the Escondido Police Department.
The suspects were identified as Isaiah Silva, 19, and a 17-year-old juvenile, police said in a statement late Thursday. Both are Escondido residents.
On Thursday night, firefighters continued to battle the blazes raging in San Diego County as evacuation orders were lifted in some areas and crews on the ground were fighting to protect homes threatened by flames near Escondido.
Firefighters in the city found a "badly burned body" in a transient camp where the thick brush had been scorched by the fire, authorities said Thursday evening. The identity of the victim and cause of death have not been determined.
Thursday afternoon, nearly 16,000 new evacuation orders were issued Thursday afternoon in San Marcos and Escondido, according to authorities.
San Diego County Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Barnett told reporters that the department has received numerous calls for help from residents who received the notices but decided to stay behind.
"When we ask you to evacuate," he said, "it's important you do so."
In the San Marcos area along Country Club Drive, flames had engulfed several buildings in a woodsy area with narrow roads and unpaved driveways in front of ranch homes.
The air was smoky in patches and flakes of ash drifted toward the ground as firefighters battled the flames, which had reduced homes to charred skeletons.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, officials said an 18-unit apartment complex in Carlsbad and at least seven houses had been destroyed in the brush fires.
In Carlsbad, some residents to returned to neighborhoods Thursday afternoon that had been ravaged by the Poinsettia fire.
Bob and Sophie Payne's dream home, which they bought in 2006 after retiring, was destroyed by the 400-acre blaze.
"We just couldn't believe the fire grew so quick, so fast," Bob Payne said.
The Paynes lost all of their belongings, including precious family photographs of their parents, but were able to save their 6-year-old dog.
The couple had been visiting Poway when they heard a massive fire had swept through the neighborhood. They rushed home, but were impeded by many road closures. By the time they arrived to their home on Black Rail Road, what remained was only a skeleton.