AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Lilac Fire burns 4,100 acres, 97% contained

Lilac Fire burns 4,100 acres, 97% contained

Stats last updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

Acres burned: 4,100
Containment: 97 percent
County: San Diego
Location: Interstate 15 and State Route 76 connector: Moving West towards Oceanside and Camp Pendleton 
Start date: December 7, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

Structures Destroyed: 157

Structures Damaged: 64

Structures Threatened: 0

Mandatory Evacuations: All evacuation orders have been lifted with some restrictions to the following areas.

For the following locations, the areas will remain closed to everyone except to residents only. All residents must show identification to get in the area:
• Rancho Monserate Country Club, 4650 Dulin Rd., Fallbrook

Safety Message: CAL FIRE is reminding residents entering the area to be aware that hazardous conditions may exist, particularly if a residence or building has burned. If there are electrical wires on the ground or other utility damage, contact SDG&E. Please drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel and utility companies in the area.

Evacuations Centers: Visit SDIC Red Cross for the most current information on Evacuation Shelters.

Lilac Fire Incident Information Website

Road closures: None

School Closures: Closure information for San Diego County schools

Twitter Hashtags: #LilacFire

Traffic Map: CBS News 8 Traffic page »

BONSALL (CNS) - Fewer than 140 firefighters remained in San Diego's North County Thursday to finish digging containment lines around the Lilac Fire, which burned 4,100 acres and destroyed 157 structures between Fallbrook and Oceanside near Camp Pendleton, authorities said.

The fire was 97 percent contained as of 7 Thursday -- one week since the first flames broke out for unknown reasons west of Interstate 15 and north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa amid gusty, arid Santa Ana winds.

In total, 1,659 firefighters and other personnel helped battle the blaze at one point or another, though that number was down to 779 as of Wednesday morning as crews finished digging containment lines to isolate the burn area in case of hot spot flare ups.

The number of firefighters still assigned to the fire was just 137 Thursday morning.

Responsibility for creating the perimeter around the smoldering burn zone was transferred Wednesday to Cal Fire San Diego units. Prior to Wednesday, all decisions were being made by a joint command team from Cal Fire, the North County Fire District and the Vista and Oceanside fire departments.

Officials expect to have the blackened burn zone fully contained a week from Thursday.

The Lilac Fire destroyed 157 structures -- many of them dwellings in the Rancho Monserate Country Club mobile home park in Fallbrook -- and damaged 64 more. No human deaths were reported, but at least 46 horses died, many of them stabled at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall.

As crews wind down their work containing the Lilac Fire, the same type of Santa Ana winds that drove the blaze are expected to again sweep through parts of San Diego, though they'll be weaker than they were last week. Still, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning that went into effect at 4 a.m. Thursday for San Diego County's inland valleys and mountains. It's set to expire at 10 a.m. Friday.

The red flag warning signifies critical fire weather conditions "are either occurring now, or will shortly," the NWS said. Those conditions include "strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures (that) can contribute to extreme fire behavior."

With humidity levels hovering near single digits, the NWS warned that outdoor burning should be avoided and "any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and be difficult to contain."

The Santa Ana winds that prompted Thursday's red flag warning are expected to die down by Friday morning before strengthening again Saturday night into Sunday. Locally, fire agencies are bracing and preparing for any new fires, while in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, fire crews are continuing to battle the massive Thomas Fire.

That blaze, which broke out 11 days ago and is still only 30 percent contained, has now grown to the fourth largest in California's history at more than 242,000 acres burned. The 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County still holds the record as the state's largest wildfire at 273,246 acres, while the 2007 Witch Fire and 1970 Laguna Fire, both in San Diego County, are also among the 10 largest in California history.

Chopper 8 over Rancho Monserate Country Club - a mobile home park in Fallbrook

Red Cross Wildfire Safety Check List

RELATED: New warnings issued for high winds, Red Flag Warning extended through Saturday

[Video by viewer Ismael Luna taken from a gas station near the 76 and I-15 connector]

[Interstate 15 and State Route 76 connector in Pala Mesa.]

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