US & Canada

California wildfires rage overnight

Firefighter in San Marcos Image copyright Getty Images

California firefighters have continued to battle wildfires, which have scorched more than 11,000 acres and caused thousands to flee.

There were 13,000 new evacuations in San Marcos on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of starting two brush fires in San Diego's Escondido area.

The pair have not been linked to the larger fires that have destroyed 18 homes, caused $20m (£12m) in damage and claimed at least one life.

A badly burned body was found in Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego, on Thursday.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said investigators looking into what has caused so many fires since Tuesday will consider arson as a possibility.

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Media captionA dramatic "firenado" spawned by one of the wildfires

Schools across the region were closed and a nuclear plant and a military base were earlier evacuated.

Months of drought have made California particularly prone to fire this year, and the crews managing the evacuations and battling the blazes have had to contend with sweltering heat.

But calmer winds on Thursday allowed aircraft - including four air tankers and 22 military helicopters - to be deployed to fight the flames.

On Friday, officials said five wildfires had been entirely contained and another was 90% contained.

More than 1,000 firefighters are now turning their attention to three other major brush fires, including two on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

Another large fire was threatening the San Diego suburb of San Marcos. That fire has grown to more than 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) and was only 10% contained, the state department of fire protection said.

The Legoland theme park in Carlsbad was closed due to power surges, while San Onofre nuclear power plant briefly evacuated non-essential staff as a precautionary measure.

And the campus of California State University-San Marcos, with almost 10,000 students, was shut down amid the university's final exams.

There have already been 1,400 wildfires across the state this year, twice the usual number.

Image copyright Reuters
Image copyright AP
Image caption Locals struggled to ward off the flames in Southern California
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The fires have caused an estimated $20m (£12m) in damage thus far
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than 13,000 new evacuation notices were issued after a wildfire flare-up
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A water bomber flew over a hillside in San Marcos, California
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Evacuation advisories remained in effect on Thursday as firefighters fought to contain the blaze
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption San Diego Sherriff's deputies watched fire crews battle a blaze in San Marcos

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