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North San Diego County battles wildfires displacing thousands

Deer surrounded by wildfire
Deer surrounded by wildfire wikimedia

San Diego County continues to battle wildfires, but it seems North San Diego County has the majority of fires, according to the US Wildfire Activity Public Information Map. Thousands of residents have been displaced, along with pets, and businesses. As of today May 15, more than 70 school districts across all of San Diego were canceled.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced a “state of emergency,” which will help get resources to local counties battling these California wildfires. With temperatures soaring into triple digits, combined with already extreme drought conditions, and compounded with the Santa Ana winds, firefighters are battling some of the worst known wildfire conditions. The Mayor of Carlsbad reported that multiple buildings have been damaged, and residents were given orders to evacuate. Hundreds of residents took shelter at a mall located just east where the 76 and I-5 corridor meet. However, most evacuees took shelter at place that could accommodate larger amounts of people that could supply running water, and food.

Sharon Newbery, a resident of Oceanside said, “the mall by our house was set up as an evacuation center, but folks moved to the Calaveras area for over night stay before it got dark. She said, although the news had stated only small animals were allowed, they were told by a female security volunteer that all animals were being brought there, including horses. Newbery added, “but it really was ran pretty smooth, considering the enormity of the area.”

It appears North County fires were so expansive that South San Diego County firefighters from the City of Del Mar helped to battle blazes in Carlsbad. The following temporary shelters have been set up in Carlsbad: Calavera Hills Community Center, La Costa Canyon High School, according to ABC 10 News. The Carlsbad wildfires have damaged more than 350-acres, multiple homes, businesses, and reports this afternoon indicated “60 percent ” of the fires were contained.

Many people in California who have experienced these wind-driven wildfires have already started donating. In fact one local Winery, Mahogany Mountain Vineyard and Winery, located east of San Diego County in Ramona, Calif., announced donating the rest of May: $1 will be donated to the Red Cross fire relief fund for San Diego County for every bottle of wine purchased, and will offer all fire victims, law enforcement officers, and firefighters an additional 20 percent discount on all wine bottle purchases. The owners of this organic vineyard understand the unimaginable stress that people experience during fire evacuations.

The owners said, “our hearts go out to all of the fire victims and stressed out San Diego County residents. We had to live through the 2003 and 2007 wildfires, and feel your pain.” They also added, the firefighters and law enforcement are doing “a great job” keeping people safe.