20 Aug 2014
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Bay Area Firefighters Head to San Diego County to Help Fight Firestorm

Bay Area Firefighters Head to San Diego County to Help Fight Firestorm
Firefighters from throughout the Bay Area are heading to  San Diego County today to help douse several massive fires raging there. 

Strike teams from Santa Clara, Napa, Sonoma and Alameda counties announced that they were sending fire crews to the area today. 

There are four separate wildfires burning in San Diego County spanning nearly 8,000 acres this morning, forcing evacuations and road closures throughout the county, according to  Cal Fire and local fire departments. 

The Poinsettia fire in Carlsbad has already destroyed an 18-unit residential building, two commercial buildings and six houses and damaged others, according to Carlsbad firefighters. 

County emergency officials estimated the total damage at $18.5 million. After starting Wednesday morning, the 400-acre fire was 60 percent contained and some evacuation orders had been lifted, according to the Carlsbad Fire Department. 

The Cocos Fire, which started Wednesday evening and is burning 800 acres in and around San Marcos, was only 5 percent contained as of this morning, Cal Fire officials said. 

County emergency officials said three structures had already been destroyed and one had been damaged as the fire continues moving south. 

A 6,000-acre fire burning in and around Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was 20 percent contained as of this morning, according to the base's fire department. 

Another fire in the Deer Springs area started Wednesday afternoon and had burned 500 acres. It was 40 percent contained as of this morning. 

Fatigue can be a problem for firefighters who jump from one massive fire to the next and Cal Fire is pulling help from farther and farther north in California to assist with the effort. 

Cal Fire's Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit sent a strike team of seven engines and more than 20 firefighters to Southern California on Wednesday, Cal Fire Capt. Amy Head said today. "That's how we operate as a department, we mobilize equipment to where the holes are," Head said. 

Meanwhile, a strike team sent from Alameda County consists of firefighters from the county department as well as from Fremont, Oakland, Hayward and Livermore-Pleasanton, fire officials said this morning. 

They are responding to the Cocos Fire in San Marcos. 

At midnight, Santa Clara County strike teams left for the Camp Pendleton and Carlsbad fires. 

More crews could be heading down depending on the need and how long it takes to get the raging fires under control, fire officials said.

[For current Patch coverage:  Thursday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage. Information on the fires burning in Carlsbad, Camp Pendleton, Escondido, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Oceanside, Pala Mountain, Rancho Bernardo area and San Marcos.]

--Bay City News

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