Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Frantic horses run loose as Lilac Fire threatens Bonsall barn

Frantic horses run loose as Lilac Fire threatens Bonsall barn

Meantime, a fast-growing wildfire fanned by Santa Ana winds in rural San Diego County has burned 400 hectares only hours after starting.

A state of emergency was declared in San Diego County. "We've never used purple before", Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, told KCBS-TV.

"Emergency evacuation happened nearly immediately and at this time, we are doing all we can but it's extremely hard", the post stated. "But they are also days that show the resilience of our city".

In a text message, Scolamieri said that the barns on the lower side of the property "appear to be gone".

Cal Fire San Diego Deputy Chief Dave Nissen speaks to reporters with Sheriff Bill Gore (right).

Cal Fire has issued mandatory evacuations in the area of W. Lilac Rd. At least one fire truck was on site with helicopters hovering above.

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Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said officials found the body of a woman near the site of a auto crash within the Thomas Fire area, though her cause of death was unclear.

Authorities say the new fire has destroyed two buildings and damaged 12. It was 10 percent contained.

Two residents were taken to a hospital for treatment of trauma suffered during the blaze.

Winds early Thursday turned out not to be as dire as predicted, but Emergency Service Deputy Director Kelly Huston says the office erred on the side of caution because conditions were similar to those that led to 44 deaths in fires that broke out across Northern California on October 8. About 700 homes were evacuated.

California's fire weather in San Diego County and across Southern California is suddenly so extreme that - for the first time ever - a new color code has been assigned to the map showing areas affected by strong Santa Ana winds: purple.

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