Lilac Fire 95 Percent Contained After Burning 4,100 Acres in San Diego

The Lilac Fire located in the North County between Fallbrook and Oceanside has burned 4,100 acres and is 95 percent contained according to authorities. Several hundred firefighters have been released from their assignments digging containment lines around the burn area. 

Cal Fire officials say they'll transfer responsibility of the fire back to the local Cal Fire San Diego unit. As of 7am Wednesday morning, the amount of firefighters was reduced from a high of 1,399 firefighters and other personnel helping contain the Lilac Fire down to 779, 

Officials say they expect to have full control of the smoldering terrain fully contained by Dec. 21st, two weeks after the flames erupted just west of I-15 and north of Lilac Rd. in Pala Mesa. 

The Lilac fire destroyed 157 structures and damaged another 64, but no human deaths were reported that were blamed on the fire. At least 46 horses died, many of them located at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsal. 

Del Mar Fairgrounds continued to house large animals, the only such shelter remaining open in San Diego. All evacuations have been lifted, however, access is restricted to certain sections of the hard-hit Rancho Monserate Country Club mobile home park in Fallbrook. 

Firefighter Battalion Chief Henry Herrera said his agency's firefighters weren't done yet. Those released from the Lilac Fire will be assigned to the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties where more than 237,000 acres have been burned. The Thomas Fire now qualifies as the fifth largest wildfire in California's history. 

Photo: Getty Images

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