Firefighters find body while battling Poinsettia Fire in northern San Diego County, officials say

Badly burned body found in transient encampment

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Officials say firefighters battling the Poinsettia Fire discovered a body at a transient encampment in Carlsbad, a community in northern San Diego County.

Officials tell 7NEWS' sister station KGTV  the badly burned body was found Thursday near Ambrosia Lane and Calliandra Road. Authorities had no information about the person who died.

There have been no other injuries reported.

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The Poinsettia Fire is one of nine wildfires burning in San Diego County. Since the first blaze erupted Tuesday during a heat wave, officials have repeatedly predicted the worst was over only to be confronted by a new challenge amid the hot, dry and windy conditions.

All but one of the fires burning across the county have a suspicious ignition point, sources tell KGTV. Investigators are ruling out a spark from an engine or cigarette.

"We all have suspicions like the public does when we have nine fires that started all over the county," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Thursday. "We're doing the best we  can to see if in fact… these were intentionally started by  someone."

At least eight homes have been destroyed as well as an 18-unit condominium complex and a couple of businesses.

In only three days, the fires have burned 15 square miles and caused $20 million in damage.

However, firefighters aided by calmer winds did made progress Thursday against several fires.

While some of the nine fires were extinguished and thousands of people were able to return to their homes, the San Marcos blaze roared back in the afternoon. Flames raced along scrubby hillsides as massive black plumes filled the skies.

Smoke limited visibility to a few feet at times in the city of 85,000, about 35 miles north of San Diego. On one street, five horses wandered nervously in a paddock as firefighters worked to protect nearby homes and barns.

Gore said the flare-up prompted more than 13,000 new evacuation notices and served as a "reminder to everybody just how volatile this can be."

The hardest-hit areas were in San Marcos and Carlsbad. No major injuries were reported.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, clearing the way for more resources to help local firefighters.

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