SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A hillside fire damaged or destroyed several buildings and blackened about 450 acres south of state Route 78 Wednesday, prompting evacuations for about 21,600 residents in surrounding areas and at nearby Cal State San Marcos.
The blaze erupted for unknown reasons in the area of Cocos Drive about 3:45 p.m. As of about 10:30 p.m., Cal Fire officials said it was 0 percent contained.
Campus administrators cleared everyone off the university campus. The campus will remain closed through Friday and this weekend’s commencement ceremonies have been canceled, according to university officials.
About 600 additional mandatory evacuation notices were later issued in the San Marcos area. Those affected are in Elfin Forest, and in the Indian Road, Crestwind Road, Wilgen Drive and De Loma Drive areas, according to county officials.
Cal Fire officials said the blaze had destroyed five structures and damaged two others. A home at 404 Washingtonia Drive was among the destroyed, according to broadcast reports.
Crews were working to protect other structures in the fire areas, city officials said.
Those displaced by the blaze were being directed to Mission Hills High School, 1 Mission Hills Court. Another shelter at San Marcos Middle School has been closed.
The off-ramp from eastbound state Route 78 to Twin Oaks Valley Road was shut down, but the highway remained open, according to county officials.