A state of emergency has been declared in San Diego County after nine wildfires scorched at least 14 square miles, with more dry winds and soaring temperatures due today. Gov. Jerry Brown issued the emergency order after the series of fires broke out yesterday, forcing thousands to flee their homes, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Schools and amusement parks including Legoland were forced to close as fires raged around the coastal city of Carlsbad, destroying a condo complex and damaging multiple homes, reports the AP.
Military housing near Camp Pendleton was also evacuated. "It’s like a scene from Armageddon," one homeowner in the area told the Los Angeles Times as smoke blotted out the sun. Drought conditions have created a very high fire risk throughout much of California, and Carlsbad's fire chief says this is the first time in his 27-year career he has seen blazes like this so early in the year. "This is May, this is unbelievable. This is something we should see in October," he says. "I haven't seen it this hot, this dry, this long in May."