San Diego wildfires force mass evacuations, burn homes

A new wildfire in San Diego County forced the evacuation of Cal State San Marcos Wednesday as crews battled a series of other blazes that had taxed firefighting resources to the point where officials declared a local emergency.

The university, which has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, was in the middle of administering spring finals when the evacuation order was issued as the fire in the hills south of the campus advanced closer.

Dubbed the Twin Oaks fire, the blaze quickly spread to 20 acres near Lake Hodges, prompting evacuation orders for North San Elijo, Discovery and Coronado Hills.

In Carlsbad, where 30 homes were burned by the wind-driven Poinsettia fire, the number of evacuation orders had increased to 15,000.

Several other fires, including in Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton and Rancho Bernardino, prompted their own evacuations as agencies from other jurisdictions sent resources to aid in the fight.

The burden on local firefighting resources prompted San Diego County to declare an emergency, and called on Gov. Jerry Brown to free up greater access to assistance.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said his agency was coordinating with the military to help battle fires in Carlsbad and Fallbrook, adding that about 120 deputies were helping fight fires.

Evacuations were in effect for wildfires in Bonsall, Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton and Carlsbad. Fires were also being fanned in Rancho Bernardo, Oceanside and Escondido Wednesday afternoon.
Elsewhere, crews were also fighting fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. 
More than 100 firefighters responded to a brush fire that broke out at 1:13 p.m. in an agricultural area west of Santa Paula, forcing the temporary closure of California 126 between Peck and Wells roads. 
Firefighters on Wednesday had increased containment of the 600-acre Miguelito fire in Santa Barbara County to 50%.
A mobile home park in Anaheim was also briefly evacuated due to a nearby brush fire that closed the 91 Freeway in both directions.