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Cocos Fire 87 Percent Contained; All Residents Can Return Home

San Marcos Unified Schools To Reopen Monday

Video by Nicholas Mcvicker

The Cocos fire in San Marcos, which destroyed more than three dozen houses and one commercial business, was 87 percent contained by Sunday evening, Cal Fire officials said.

Fire officials had pegged the acreage scorched by the blaze at 2,520 acres but downgraded that on Sunday to 1,995 acres.

On Sunday night firefighters continued to mop up within the Cocos fire containment lines. Fire activity has been limited to smoldering within the fire perimeter. Firefighters continue to construct new containment lines and improve existing lines .

The blaze, which started Wednesday, destroyed 36 single family dwellings and one non-residential commercial building, according to an update released by Cal Fire Sunday night. That is a reduction from the estimate of 39 single family homes released earlier. Included in that number are 25 structures at the Harmony Grove Spiritual Association, a century-old church retreat.

Cocos Fire Facts

Acres Burned: 1,995

Containment: 87%

Anticipated Full Containment: Sunday, May 18

Homes destroyed: 36

Cause: Under investigation

Source: Cal Fire; San Diego County; city of San Marcos

Most evacuation orders were lifted Saturday afternoon for neighborhoods affected by the fire except for the Coronado Hills area, and the residents of that community got the word around 11 a.m. Sunday that they could return home.

People who live in the Harmony Grove Spiritual Association may return but must show proof they live in the area, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Residents returning to the area are asked to use caution, as fire equipment will be in the area. Emergency officials will be performing tree hazard assessments in the affected areas.

All road closures also were lifted, according San Diego County's emergency website.

Schools in the San Marcos Unified School District, which were closed on Thursday and Friday, also are to reopen on Monday.

The blaze broke out near Cocos Drive in San Marcos for unknown reasons about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

Nearly 76,000 evacuation alerts were sent to nearby residents. The total includes texts, emails and phone calls made to residents, and does not translate into 76,000 people being evacuated because many residents receive alerts in all three forms of communication, county officials have said.

Cal State San Marcos was evacuated in the hours after the fire started Wednesday. The campus, including CSUSM at Temecula, will reopen on Tuesday, May 20. A campus update released Sunday afternoon said the fires came very close to campus but the only physical damage noted so far is secondary. Buildings have been inspected and air quality assessed.

All CSUSM employees are back on a regular schedule on Tuesday. However, all non essential events will be postponed as employees focus on rescheduled commencement ceremonies that were cancelled this weekend and will now take place May 24th and 25th. according to university officials.

City News Service contributed to this report.

San Marcos Evacuation Areas


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