Several barns were destroyed and an unknown number of horses died after a fast-moving fire moved through the San Luis Rey Downs training center in San Diego county on Thursday afternoon, according to horsemen on the property.
Smoke from the Lilac Fire is visible from an automated camera on Red Mountain near Fallbrook. The wind-whipped blaze erupted Thursday afternoon and authorities say it's moving dangerously fast.
As wildfires rage in Ventura County and San Diego county braces itself for strong Santa Ana winds, there's concern the overall threat of fire could extend into winter. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego County on Thursday after one of six wildfires began rapidly burning in the area. There have been massive fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in the last 48 hours that have burned more than 120,000 acres and are not under control.
An area immediately north of the training center was ordered evacuated before 2 p.m.
Firefighters battled other vast fires in the state as well. At least one fire truck was on site with helicopters hovering above.
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The incident, which has been named the Lilac fire, started off of South Interstate 15, and is being blown northwest away from the freeway toward Sullivan Middle School and State Route 76.
Firefighters were dealing mainly with the Thomas Fire, the largest of the four, which started on Monday at 50 acres and swelled to 96,000 acres as of 10 a.m. Thursday. It remained unclear what caused the fire.
Two residents were taken to a hospital for treatment of trauma suffered during the blaze.
Images of mansions and homes in flames shared on social media prompted fears of a similar level of destruction in San Diego County where extreme weather conditions came in the color purple.
"This is not something that we're not used to seeing, it's just not typical", said Cal Fire Captain Jon Heggie.