National Geographic News
Wildfire climbs a canyon toward homes Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Carlsbad, Calif.

A wildfire threatens homes in Carlsbad, California, on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jane J. Lee

National Geographic

Published May 15, 2014

Nine wildfires are burning across San Diego County, as record dry conditions, warm temperatures, and gusty winds contribute to an early start to the Golden State's fire season. (See "Behind California's January Wildfires: Dry Conditions, Stubborn Weather Pattern.")

The San Diego fires threaten homes—including those in the community of Carlsbad, California, above—schools, and military bases. More than 9,000 acres have burned so far, with the scattered fires at various levels of containment.

Burned Husk

Residents looks at the burning remains of their home that was destroyed in the Poinsettia fire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID MCNEW, GETTY IMAGES

Residents look on as firefighters douse the burned-out husks of their homes in Carlsbad, California (map), on Thursday. This particular fire, named the Poinsettia fire, burned at least eight homes and damaged eight condominiums and two businesses. The seaside community evacuated about 15,000 homes and businesses.

Dying Light

The ruins of a home smoulder in the night after it was destroyed in the Poinsettia fire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID MCNEW, GETTY IMAGES

Remnants of a fire that destroyed a home burn as night falls in Carlsbad. San Diego county has declared an emergency, requesting assistance from Governor Jerry Brown, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A Smoky End

Firefighters spray water on a burning commercial structure at the Poinsettia fire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID MCNEW, GETTY IMAGES

Firefighters douse the remains of a commercial building with water after the Poinsettia fire destroyed it. (Related: "Why Big, Intense Wildfires Are the New Normal.")

Evacuation

A woman is evacuated from her building during a wildfire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police officers escort a woman from a building threatened by a wildfire in Carlsbad. The city sent out 23,000 evacuation notices, according to reports. As of Thursday, the Poinsettia fire had burned 400 acres and was 60 percent contained.

A Raging Fire

Firefighters battle the so-called Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAM HODGSON, REUTERS

The Poinsettia fire, which erupted on Wednesday some 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of San Diego, burns out of control.

Aftermath

Del Mar firefighters roll up hose after a day fighting wildfires.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Firefighters clean up after a day of battling blazes near Carlsbad. (Related: "What It's Like Taking Pictures Inside an Inferno.")

Battleground

A prison crew battles a fire in an avocado grove outside Fallbrook, California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY HUFFAKER, REUTERS

An avocado grove smolders with the embers of a fire about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of San Diego. A prison crew works to keep the fire under control on Wednesday. (Related: "Rim Fire: Prisoners Helping to Battle Massive Blaze.")

Airdrops

Firefighters battle a blaze in San Marcos, California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAM HODGSON, REUTERS

Special planes dump fire retardants on a wildfire near San Marcos, California (map).

Battle Lines

The so-called Poinsettia Fire burns through a canyon in Carlsbad, California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE BLAKE, REUTERS

The Poinsettia fire burns along a canyon behind a housing development.

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