San Diego fire weather is so extreme, purple is the new red

San Diego fire weather is so extreme, purple is the new red

Firefighters were dealing mainly with the Thomas Fire, the largest of the four, which started on Monday at 50 acres and swelled to 96,000 acres as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

The Skirball Fire burned through 475 acres and was 20 percent contained as of 3:20 p.m., leading to a brief shutdown of the 405 Freeway.

As the fire approached, scores of horses were let out of their stalls to run loose on the property, primarily on the infield of the training track, to get them out of the barns.

A brush fire burning in San Diego County on Thursday afternoon, December 7, had burned two structures, damaged 12 others and prompted evacuations, Cal Fire said in a Twitter message.

"We had vans ready but they wouldn't let them in", Rothblum said.

A major contributing factor to the rapid spread of the fire was the intense Santa Ana winds, which apparently downed palm trees and allowed new fires to begin.

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In addition to the 45,000-acre Thomas Fire at Ventura , another large fire is burning in Southern California. Power was reported out at one point to more than 250,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

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As wildfires rage in Ventura County and San Diego county braces itself for strong Santa Ana winds, there's concern the overall threat of fire could extend into winter. Evacs and road closures in effect.

Subscribe to Times of San Diego's free daily email newsletter! It remained unclear what caused the fire.

"Emergency evacuation happened nearly immediately and at this time, we are doing all we can but it's extremely hard", the post stated. Southern California horsemen need it right now. The highway is within a few hundred yards of the training center.

In a message posted on the Del Mar Racetrack Twitter page Thursday afternoon prior to the fire at San Luis Rey, the track encouraged evacuees to bring bedding, feed and horse identification to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

It was not immediately clear how many horses perished.

One ranch hand was injured as a horse he was trying to rescue kicked him in the face.

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