San Diego County fires: 1st death reported in Carlsbad

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KABC) -- The first death has been reported in connection to the fires burning in San Diego County. Firefighters on Thursday said they found a badly burned body at a transient encampment during a hot spot check in Carlsbad.

The body was discovered in the area of Ambrosia Lane and Calliandra Road. Fire officials say the investigation is ongoing.

Eight of the nine fires in San Diego County have a suspicious ignition point. The fires were not started normally, sources told ABC affiliate KGTV.

On Thursday night, Escondido police arrested two arson suspects, but they do not appear to be related to the large wildfires. Isaiah Silva, 19, and an unidentified 17-year-old were arrested on suspicion of setting two small unrelated fires in the Escondido area, according to KGTV. One of the fires was set in Kit Carson Park and another small fire was set nearby that was quickly put out. Police say they are "not prepared to connect" the two suspects to any of the larger fires across the county.

In total, the brush fires have burned more than 9,000 acres in hot and dry conditions, causing more evacuations and power outages.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department expanded mandatory evacuations for residents near the "Cocos Fire," which broke out in the city of San Marcos.

Residents from the areas of Questhaven, Harmony Grove and parts of Elfin Forest in San Marcos and neighboring unincorporated areas were asked to evacuate.

On Wednesday, all neighborhoods south of San Marcos Boulevard, including Discovery Hills, Discovery Meadows, Coronado Hills and San Elijo Hills, were asked to evacuate, officials said.

An evacuation shelter was set up at Mission Hills High School. San Marcos Middle School and Escondido High School also reopened as temporary evacuation sites. Small animals are welcome at Mission Hills and Escondido High Schools. Large animals can be taken to Cloverdale Ranch at 2460 Cloverdale Road in Escondido.

The fire has grown to about 1,200 acres and was 10 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Three homes were destroyed, CAL FIRE officials said.

San Diego County declared a local emergency on Wednesday for the nine fires throughout the area.

Fire in Carlsbad destroys homes

Several buildings and homes were destroyed as a 400-acre fire devoured parts of the city of Carlsbad.

The "Poinsettia Fire" erupted in the area of Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. It was 60 percent contained on Thursday morning.

Evacuation orders were lifted Thursday evening for all areas associated with the Poinsettia Fire. More than 15,000 homes and business were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday.

According to an assessment by the city, eight single-family houses, an 18-unit apartment complex, two commercial buildings and a modular building were destroyed by the fire. Three single-family homes sustained minor damage, and an 18-unit apartment building incurred considerable damage.

Commercial vehicles, an outbuilding and two vehicles were also damaged in the fire. Large power outages were also reported.

Anyone with information about the origin of the fire or suspicious activity or persons who may be involved with starting the fires should call (760) 602-7599 or email

Camp Pendleton base closes from brush fire

Just north of Carlsbad, the "Tomahawk Fire" that broke out on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook and spread to Camp Pendleton has burned about 6,300 acres and was at 15 percent containment.

Officials said Thursday afternoon that the Tomahawk Fire has grown past the containment line and was approaching the city of Fallbrook. An evacuation order was issued for Olive Hill Road in Fallbrook between Ladera Vista Road and South Mission Road.

Meantime, another fire broke out at 3:15 p.m. Thursday in the Las Pulgas area. The blaze has grown to 4,000 acres and is moving southwest.

Camp Las Pulgas and Camp Margarita have been ordered to evacuate. Las Pulgas personnel should move north to the School of Infantry parade deck behind the mess hall, building 520430. Margarita personnel should move south to the I MEF parade deck behind Devil Doc Hall, building 210825. Military personnel in the Las Flores Area were also ordered to evacuate.

Officials said one Camp Pendleton Fire Department firefighter suffered heat exhaustion. Forty power lines were damaged and caused power outages to the area.

The naval station's gates were expected to be closed and traffic into Camp Pendleton stopped on Thursday.

A De Luz housing evacuation order was lifted Thursday afternoon.
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