Just days after wildfires tore through Ventura County and Los Angeles County, Southern California is facing another fire. This time the blaze, called the Lilac Fire, is burning through San Diego County.
The fire formed on Thursday, December 7th, near Lilac Road in northern San Diego. Like the wildfires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the blaze was fueled by strong gusts of wind and quickly consumed 4,100 acres. It has claimed 20 houses, and 5,000 more are in danger.
The area of San Diego caught in the flames was Bonsall, a semi-rural area known for horseback riding. About 25 horses have been reported dead in the fire. Four civilians reported injuries, one of which was from inhaling smoke.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, more than 100,000 people had been ordered to evacuate. The paper reported that the fire had not grown overnight, and that, thanks to lessening winds, the threat of the fire spreading east to Oceanside had decreased.
But according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire had not been contained as of 9 a.m. on Friday, December 8th.
The National Weather Service in San Diego tweeted that winds would not be as strong on December 8th, but a fire warning was still in place through Sunday, December 10th.
Firefighters in Southern California are currently battling six major wildfires, spanning from Santa Barbara County in the north to San Diego County in the south. The largest of the fires, the Thomas Fire, which began in Ventura County, had consumed 132,000 acres and was 10 percent contained as of the morning of December 8th. It’s unusual that California is experiencing wildfires in December, but the lack of rain prior to the Santa Ana winds this year led to heightened fire danger.
The Lilac Fire adds one more disaster to the already terrifying California wildfires. We hope that all six fires can be contained soon. To everyone in Southern California: stay safe.