Lilac Fire containment rises to 50%


Firefighters break up smoldering rubble in the remains of dozens of homes destroyed by the Lilac Fire, December 8, 2017, at a retirement community in Fallbrook, in San Diego County California.
Unrelenting winds fanned towering flames in southern California, where hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee multiple devastating fires in the Los Angeles area and new outbreaks near San Diego. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

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BONSALL, Calif. — A second day of light winds let ground crews cut containment lines around 50 percent of the Lilac Fire Saturday.

Crews were also able to make a more accurate survey of the damage wrought by the blaze, which blackened 4,100 acres west of Interstate 15 near Fallbrook. They said at least 182 structures had been destroyed and 23 sustained damage.

Thousands of North County residents fled their homes after the blaze broke out for unknown reasons around 11:30 a.m. Thursday just west of Interstate 15 and north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa amid gusty, arid weather.

Interactive maps show burn area

About 110 people who remain evacuated from their homes due to the fire have been consolidated to two shelters: Palomar College in San Marcos and Bostonia Park and Recreation Center in El Cajon, according to San Diego County.

Large animals can be sheltered at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

At least 1,500 structures remain threatened, authorities said.

Photos: Lilac Fire devastaion

The number of acres affected by the fire has remained steady since Thursday night. Since then, firefighters have been working to increase the containment of the fire — reducing the number of hot spots that could reignite if winds pick up again on Sunday as forecasted. A Red Flag warning for dangerous fire conditions remains in effect throughout San Diego County until Sunday at 8 p.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Local firefighter injured in Lilac Fire continued to battle flames despite injury

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