California wildfires burn 141,000 acres, Trump approves disaster declaration

The number of wildfires currently burning in southern California is up to six as two new fires started burning north of San Diego yesterday. In total, the fires have burned 141,000 acres, which works out to about 220 square miles. Here are the latest stats published this morning by the Cal Fire public information officer:

The LA Times reports on some of damage caused by the fires north of San Diego:

“We are in no way near the end of this,” warned Ron Lane, the county’s deputy chief administrative officer who oversees public safety. On Friday morning, Cal Fire said the wildfire had burned 4,100 acres and destroyed 65 structures.

President Trump approved a California disaster declaration Friday morning. He ordered federal aid to the area and put the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of disaster relief efforts.

In a separate story, the LA Times reports the fire spread to a horse training facility where one person was severely burned and an estimated 25 horses died as their barns caught fire:

It was a scene of horror and panic at San Luis Rey Downs on Thursday as wind-fed fires engulfed parts of the thoroughbred training center near Bonsall in San Diego County, causing an unknown number of equine deaths…

There was a report of one horse rescuer who was burned over 50% of their body and was in a medically induced coma. The California Horse Racing Board estimated that about 25 horses were killed in the fire…

Trainer Cliff Sise, a regular on the Southern California circuit, said he saw about 10 horses die including one of his fillies.

“It was dark, everything was hot and she wouldn’t come out,” Sise told KFMB-TV in San Diego. “I opened the pen and tried to get behind her and get her out, and she wouldn’t get out. She burned to death that quick.”

There is some video of the horses fleeing the fire in a panic:

Unfortunately, there was a separate incident in Los Angeles County where an estimated 29 horses died as the Creek Fire spread to barns. Meanwhile, one video which circulated widely yesterday showed a man stopping along a burning road in Ventura to rescue a rabbit:

This CBS clip gives a good sense of the seemingly hopeless battle firefighters are waging to protect homes.

Finally, this map shows the location of the six fires: