A brush fire that broke out alongside an interchange of highways in the north of the county took off in extreme fire conditions, burning thousands of acres, injuring three people and forcing Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.
The Lilac Fire, as named by Cal Fire officers, is burning out of control and has burned 3,000 acres west of Interstate 15 south and south of State Route 76 and has threatened 1,000 structures.
Starting at 7 pm, the winds were 20 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 to 40 mph.
"They are blowing in all kinds of directions," said NBC presenter 7 Llarisa Abreu.
California Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday declared a state of emergency for San Diego County, freeing federal resources as gangs fight the rapid fire. The county had declared a state of emergency earlier in the day.
Two civilians suffered burns in the fire and were transported to hospitals in the area to be treated, Cal Fire officials said. It was not clear how the injuries occurred.
A deputy from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) suffered minor injuries while directing traffic. At the time of the incident, visibility in the area was low due to thick clouds of smoke. It was not clear if it was a factor in the injury.
Twenty structures were destroyed and an "unknown quantity" was damaged by a fire that officials said was spreading at a dangerous rate.
Aerial images of a neighborhood in Bonsall showed several houses burned while the fire continued to roar.
One resident said he did not look like anything he had seen before.
"It looked very creepy, very dark and cloudy" It's almost like driving to Hell, "said Jerry Vásquez, who lives on West Lilac Road.
Vásquez said he could see three or four houses burning while evacuating.
A Cal Fire official said the fast-moving fire jumped West Lilac Road.
"The fire is coming quickly in that direction, it has already jumped the road," the officer told NBC 7. "As you can see, it's already up there. "
You could see horses running in circles as firemen opened the doors of homes to free them.
Hundreds of horses were loose south of State Route 76 at Camino Del Rey, confirmed CHP officers.  ] Closures
The fire, which was reported for the first time at 11:20 a.m., caused a SigAlert on I-15 southbound, which caused delays until all lanes reopened at 1:10 p.m. M. The California Highway Patrol closed the exit ramp from I-15 to Old Highway 395, but it was reopened just before 2:15 pm
The only roads that remained closed after 5 : 00 pm was SR-76 in both directions at Bonsall, and Old Highway 395 between Lilac Road and SR-76.
Look: drivers flee from smoke and flames from Lilac Fire
Almost 20,000 residents of San Diego County received evacuation alerts from the given from San Diego.
New evacuations were ordered at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for the area south of Renche Road, west of I-15, east of Green Canyon Road and south of Mission Road.
Just before 4 p.m., the east area if E. Vista Way and Mission Road were placed under mandatory evacuation.
You can find a complete list of the latest evacuations and closures here.
"We're not near the end of this," said county spokesman Ron Lane.
The smoke was so thick it blocked the sun for a while, according to a NBC news team 7
Embers burned some gardens at Sullivan Middle School, but the campus looked like a ghost town. Fire teams toured the school placing access points.
A tutor at Fallbrook High School described the time the campus heard about the fire
"It was pretty wild, we saw clouds of smoke, everyone was a bit tired," said the tutor. students were concerned about their homes and their families. "
A night shelter was established for residents of the East Valley Community Center at 2245 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido.
Temporary evacuation shelters were also installed at Fallbrook High School on South Stage Coach Lane, Great Oak High School at Deer Hollow Way and Stagecoach Community Park located at 6 pm
The Del Mar Fairgrounds and the Fields of San Diego Polo in Del Mar opened its grounds for large animal evacuations.
The risk of a forest fire in San Diego County is extreme on Thursday due to Santa Ana conditions and dry vegetation, according to the National Meteorological Service, the US Forest Service. UU And the NBC Meteorological Team 7.
Watch: Airplane Combats Lilac Fire in North San Diego
Humidity will be in the range of 5-15 percent, according to the US Forest Services. my. Any new fire will have a high probability of becoming large in a short period of time.
Under the strong winds warning, valid until 4 p.m. On Friday, forecasters expect the strongest winds after dawn in the morning until Thursday afternoon.
A fire weather warning is valid until 8 p.m. Sunday means that any fire that develops will spread quickly and will be very difficult to control.
Whitney Southwick of NBC 7 said humidity was 7 percent with the temperature of the mid-70s.
Wind gusts in the fire area were recorded from a northeast direction as strong as 51 mph in Highway 76 in Pala, according to the National Meteorological Service. Winds along I-15 near the fire were recorded between 30 and 35 mph.
The county was reminding people who were looking for information about the fire to call 2-1-1 and that 9-1-1 was only used for emergencies.
No more information available.
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Posted 2 hours ago | Updated 1 minute ago