Some California Wildfire Evacuees Return Home As Weather Shifts
SAN DIEGO, May 16 (Reuters) - Several thousand suburban San Diego residents forced to flee a wildfire threatening their community were allowed to return home on Friday as firefighters gained ground against a swarm of blazes burning in and around California's second-largest city.
The conflagrations, which marked an intense, early start to California's wildfire season, have scorched more than 30 square miles or nearly 20,000 acres of drought-parched brush this week across San Diego County, leaving dozens of homes damaged or destroyed.
A burned human corpse was found Thursday at a homeless encampment overrun by flames in the coastal town of Carlsbad, although officials said they had yet to confirm whether the individual was killed by the fire.
Two teenagers were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of setting two small fires that bystanders quickly extinguished. But police said they had no immediate reason to link the youths to any of nearly a dozen larger brush fires that raged throughout the county this week.
By morning, fire crews had managed to carve containment lines around 10 percent of the fiercest of the blazes, which has blackened some 3,000 acres since erupting on Wednesday near the town of San Marcos, north of San Diego, fire officials said.
The latest containment figure was double the 5 percent reported on Thursday amidst an unseasonable mix of record triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and hot, dry Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert.