Pictures: San Diego Blazes Get Wildfire Season Off to Early Start

Drought, warm temperatures, and gusty winds fan the flames of nine wildfires burning across San Diego, California.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.")

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.

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

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

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.")

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

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