ARSON ARRESTS MADE IN ESCONDIDO AS FIREFIGHTERS GAIN GROUND ON BLAZES

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Update 12 p.m.  The Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad is now 100% contained.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

May 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)  9 a.m. --Escondido Police have arrested  Isaiah Silva, 19, and a juvenile for arson, U-T San Diego reports.  The arrests came after a citizen reporting seeing two people start a fire in a field near South Escondido Boulevard and another citizen reporting seeing arsonists start a blaze at Kit Carson Park.  However, Lt. Mike Kearney has stated that the two suspects are not believed to have started any of the major wildfires currently burning in San Diego County.

Cause of the other fires countywide remain undetermined.  There has been speculation in some media outlets of arson but officials have indicated the causes remain under investigation.  An arson strike force has been assembled to investigate the fires.

Over 121,000 evacuation notices have been sent by officials and hundreds stayed in shelters overnight as numerous fires burned across the region.

Below are updates on the major fires.

Approximately 1,000 firefighters continue battling the Cocos Fire, which has swelled to 1,200 acres and is 15% contained Friday morning.  The blaze began in San Marcos and burned east to Escondido by yesterday.  Some evacuation orders have been lifted.

The Tomahawk Fire at Camp Pendleton is 15% contained after charring 6,200 acres and forcing evacuations in Fallbrook. A new fire at the base, the Las Pulgas Fire, is now even larger, at 8,000 acres.

In Carlsbad, where damage is estimated at $22 million, the body of a fire victim was found near a transient camp, the only fatality known thus far from the fires. The Poinsettia Fire has burned 600 acres and is 85% contained.

The Bernardo Fire is now 85% contained after charring over 1,500 acres. 

The Highway Fire near I-15 flared up overnight but is now in a mop-up stage.

A blaze in Lakeside  near I-8 was halted at 17 acres.

For the latest information on evacuations, shelters and road closures, visit The County Emergency Services page at http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/ .

In addition, the U-T has published this handy list:  Discounts and freebies for fire victims.