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San Diego Fire Update - 10:45 p.m.

None of the fires raging in San Diego County are more than 10 percent contained and fire and county officials can't say how many of aircraft are fighting them.

None of the fires raging in San Diego County are more than 10 percent contained and fire and county officials can't say how many of aircraft are fighting them.

"We've beefed up the air assets," Supervisor Ron Roberts said at a news conference. Roberts could not provide the number of helicopters and airplanes that attacked the flames today.

The largest of the planes, on loan from Canada, is a sea plane that was stopped by customs inspectors and by late afternoon had not been released to the Lake Elsinore Airport for loading fire retardant.


The plane can hold 3,000 gallons of fire retardant and one drop covers three miles, according to fire officials.

As of today, 560,000 people have been evacuated, Roberts said, though many of them have been allowed to return to their homes.

The Harris fire, concentrated in the southeast San Diego County, has burned 73,000 acres and is 10 percent contained.

Seven firefighters were injured in that blaze.

The Witch Creek fire, which began in Rancho Bernardo Sunday, has burned 196,420 acres and is 10 percent contained, according to officials. Twelve firefighters were injured in that blaze.


Officials today said they were worried about the Witch fire and the new Poomacha fire, centered on the Rincon and La Jolla Indian reservations, the two of which are burning parallel to each other, could conjoin because of erratic winds blowing off the sea.

Rick Hutchinson, incident commander with the California Department of Forestry, also known as Cal-Fire, said the conjunction of the two is a real concern and a real possibility.

The Poomacha fire, which started on Palomar Mountain, has burned 25,000 acres and is zero percent contained. There were 10 injuries, all to firefighters.

The Rice Canyon fire, which started south of the Rainbow Valley on Monday and jumped the Interstate 15 to Fallbrook, has scorched 8,000 acres and is 15 percent contained. One firefighter has been injured, according to Hutchinson.

Still burning are the Horno fire on Camp Pendleton and three smaller fires.

The Horno fire has scorched about 6,000 acres and is 10 percent contained. The 200-acre burn area of the so-called Wilcox fire on Camp Pendleton was 80 percent surrounded as of tonight.

There have been 741 homes destroyed, 179 mobile homes, four commercial buildings and 232 accessory buildings, such as sheds, garages and such, in San Diego County, Hutchinson said.

Fourteen of the destroyed homes were in Rancho Santa Fe.

There were 36 homes destroyed in Escondido, 86 in Poway, 362 in San Diego. Sixty-two homes were damaged in San Diego.

Escondido residents, except for the community of Las Serenas, near Via Rancho Parkway and North County Fair mall, also can all come home, according to Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler.

While everyone who spoke at the news conference stressed that things were looking up, they also warned there was still a lot of work to be done.

"We're still chasing the boundaries of this fire," San Diego fire Chief Tracy Jarman said.

The first local assessment center has been opened in Rancho Bernardo, with desks for Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and Poway residents. Several more will open in the next few days.

The county's power grid is at full capacity as of tonight, Roberts said.