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Wildfires In Southern California Consume Thousands Of Acres

This post was updated at 11:45 p.m. ET.

Thousands of residents in Southern California were fleeing their homes after being told by authorities to evacuate as nine wind-swept wildfires raged in the region.

In a news conference Wednesday night, officials said they were particularly concerned about the San Marcos fire, where more than 9,000 acres had burned.

Officials sent out more than 11,000 mandatory evacuation notices in the city of Carlsbad, where a wildfire erupted on Wednesday — one of several in recent days in San Diego County that have threatened life and property.

State officials say the record-high temperatures were a contributing factor to the rash of wildfires.

Helicopters were being used to drop water on the fires.

Member station KPBS reports:

"The blaze was reported around 10:40 a.m. near Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road, just east of El Camino Real. Winds pushed the flames west toward neighborhoods and some high-tech businesses.

"Carlsbad officials were reporting that Dove Library, Aviara Community Park and Alga Norte Community Park were closed.

"Also, a spokeswoman for Legoland California said the park is being evacuated as a safety precaution because of electrical power surges.

"The county of San Diego reported that more than 11,600 residences and businesses received reverse 9-1-1 calls urging the occupants to evacuate."

Farther north, Camp Pendleton, a U.S. Marine Corps base, was also evacuated due to a fire.

The AP says:

"Earlier Wednesday, authorities reported 25 percent containment of a 2.42-square-mile fire that broke out Tuesday and forced thousands of people to flee the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego. In Santa Barbara County, a 600-acre blaze near the city of Lompoc was 50 percent contained."

Update at 11:45 p.m. ET. Concern For San Marcos Fire:

There were nine confirmed wildfires in San Diego County Wednesday, reported County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacobs in a news conference. Officials said the San Marcos fire was the biggest concern Wednesday night, with more than 9,000 acres burned.

Member station KPCC is keeping track of the fires, updating with information on the destruction and school closures.

Among those updates: California State San Marcos has canceled its commencement ceremonies that had been planned for May 17 and 18. In a statement, college President Karen Haynes said:

"Canceling Commencement was not a decision we took lightly and we are saddened by the circumstances. Safety continues to be our first concern."


— For more on fire conditions in California and across most of the U.S., check out NPR's "Fire Forecast" app, which is updated daily. The interactive should take you right to San Diego County, but you can change the location by entering a new "ZIP code, city, etc."

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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