& # 39; How to drive to hell & # 39 ;: residents describe how to evacuate lilac fire

It happened in what seemed like seconds.

A resident of the north county received a call from a friend Thursday morning telling him that the Lilac Fire had been lit near his home, near the intersection of Interstate 15 and State Route 76 near Fallbrook.

He came home just at the time.

"We arrived here, and, you know, everything happens very fast," the evacuee told NBC 7. "The next thing you know is that the Sheriff [deputies] knocking on his door, like, & # 39; Hey, you have to go & # 39; "

Chopper Video: Houses burn in Bonsall

[DGO]   Chopper Video: Houses burn in Bonsall

He grabbed a head lamp and some other items before takeoff.

Owner Jerry Vasquez was able to enter his property just before the neighborhood was subjected to a mandatory evacuation on Thursday afternoon.

The deputies toured the neighborhoods announcing by public address: "obligatory evacuations, mandatory evacuations". [19659010] Lilac Fire Claims Homes in Bonsall

[DGO]   Lilac Fire Claims Homes in Bonsall

He grabbed important documents and his cat and left. Upon leaving, he noticed that three or four houses were on fire.

"It's almost like driving to hell," Vasquez said. "It seemed very creepy, very dark and cloudy."

Vásquez admits that he was ill prepared. I did not have anything in the box and I did not have an emergency kit ready.

Lilac Fire Evacuees Go to Fallbrook High School

[DGO]   Lilac Fire Evacuees Go to Fallbrook High School

"It's very stressful, said Vasquez." I mean, it's like you do not know if you're going to have a home to go back home. for more. "

Officials said 20 structures were destroyed and several others were damaged on Thursday in a fire that showed no signs of slowing.

Images of a neighborhood near Fallbrook showed at least a dozen houses burned on Thursday. floor

Horses flee from flames in lilac fire

[DGO]   Horses flee from flames in lilac fire

Firefighters were opening the doors of residents' houses to release trapped cattle and other large animals. they could see horses running in circles.

Fallbrook High School learned of the fire when smoke began to rise in the skies near its campus.

"It was pretty wild, we saw clouds of smoke, everyone was a little exhausted, "A tutor from the school told NBC 7." All the students were concerned about their homes and their families. "

The high school finished classes about an hour early on Thursday, the school is being used as a temporary evacuation center and will also be closed on Friday. [19659025] A firefighting officer told NBC 7 on Thursday, in his 24-year career, he had never seen such a rapid firefight.

the fire started just after 10:30 am as of 7 to 10 acres on the west side of I-15 and quickly extended westward, prompting an evacuation at the Monserate Country Club Ranch in Bonsall.In a few hours, it was reported that the fire was 500 acres.

On Thursday night, the fire had burned 3,000 acres and prompted an emergency declaration from California Governor Jerry Brown.

When a woman evacuated on Thursday, she stopped and pointed to her neighborhood, saying what was in the minds of most people: "I hope to see this when I return."

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