At least one person has been killed. Thousands have been evacuated, fleeing a fire that covers 15 square miles. Many of those who returned home found nothing left.
“Those flames were moving so quickly and there was a lot of smoke. It was really scary seeing that come up over our neighborhood,” said wildfire evacuee Elisha Exon.
Thousands of firefighters and even the military are dousing the flames, but warm, dry winds have spread the fire fast.
“I have never seen the Santa Ana winds, also called Devil winds in the month of May,” said Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Supervisor.
However, Friday’s forecast calls for cooler temperatures and lighter winds.
“We had some success with the higher humidities, we didn’t have the wind. we still have open fire lines so with today’s weather it’s going to play a big portion on what we see happen today,” said Mike Mohler, Fire Captain for Cal Fire.
As for the cause, arson is a popular theory, but authorities don’t have any evidence of it. Still, two teens have been arrested in connection with small brushfires in Escondido.
“Until we can pinpoint exactly what it is, we go with under investigation until we know what caused the fires,” Mohler said.
The fire season doesn’t typically start until late summer, but the state’s fire director says he hasn’t had a month off this year. In fact, the state’s fire agency says the number of fires they’ve responded to have doubled from this time last year.
Sources: NASA, KUSI, KFMB, KSWB, KGTV