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Overnight Update on Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad

Aircraft with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing assist CALFIRE 2014 and local firefighting agencies with Cocos wildfires in San Marco on May 15. Photo Credit: Pfc. Maxwell Pennington
Aircraft with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing assist CALFIRE 2014 and local firefighting agencies with Cocos wildfires in San Marco on May 15. Photo Credit: Pfc. Maxwell Pennington

The 400-acre Poinsettia Fire that ravaged dozens of homes and businesses in Carlsbad this week and possibly killed a transient was 85 percent contained early today.

The fire broke out for unknown reasons near Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Cal Fire. Thousands of residents were evacuated as the blaze grew, but as of Thursday night, all evacuation orders were lifted.

While checking for hot spots in the area of Ambrosia Lane and Calliandra Road -- a location known to have been used as a transient encampment -- crews discovered a badly burned body, city officials said. The victim's name and cause of death were under investigation early today.

City officials said an 18-unit apartment complex and a modular building were destroyed. Eight single-family homes and two commercial buildings were destroyed or incurred substantial damage.

Another 18-unit apartment complex sustained considerable damage and three single-family homes sustained minor damage, officials said.

Monetary losses have been estimated at $22.5 million, authorities said.

Neighborhoods along Aviara Parkway and Black Rail Road sustained most of the damage, according to Cal Fire.

Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall thanked first responders, saying "although there was major structural damage done here in Carlsbad, we literally saved hundreds of homes."

The blaze came amid a heat wave that was pushing temperatures well into the 90s along the coast. Winds, however, were not as strong as on Tuesday, when a wildfire charred nearly 1,600 acres between 4S Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe.

The Carlsbad Police Department established a "hotline" for tips about the Poinsettia Fire. Anyone with information about the possible origin of the blaze was asked to call (760) 602-7599.

Read updates on the San Diego County Wildfires here: Friday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage.

—City News Service

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