State of emergency declared as firefighters battle San Diego wildfires
Another day of sky-high temperatures and dry winds is expected Thursday as nine fires continue to burn over some 14 square miles in California's San Diego County.
Over 150 firefighters have been working with temperatures approaching 100 degrees and gusty winds as they try to contain flames fueled by dry vegetation.
Thousands of people have been evacuated and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the county. Thousands of acres have been scorched.
"I never thought our house would be in danger like this, but it's really scary," said Lee Peterson, evacuee.
Homeowners were forced to evacuate as flames chased them out of their neighborhoods. Some will have nothing to come home to, despite their best efforts to clear brush and be fire-safe.
"I tried to make it as good as possible but naturally who cares right now. The house is gone," said Greg Saska, homeowner.
"I've never seen anything like this in 20 years," said Supervisor Bill Horn, North San Diego County.
It's a frightening preview to what will be a dangerous fire season. The hot Santa Ana winds howling through southern California neighborhoods are not typical so early in the year.
"This is something I have not seen in my career. I've been in fire service for 27 years. I haven't seen it this dry, this hot, this long, in May," said Chief Michael Davis, Carlsbad Fire Dept.
Homeowners like Christopher Negrite planned to make a stand to save their homes.,
"Just trying to prepare, perhaps embers might carry over into God knows what, but definitely trying to prevent a nightmare," he said.