Dozens of homes and thousands of acres have burned as not one, but nine wildfires ripped through the San Diego County landscape. Universities, attractions like Legoland and tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate as the flames move closer to a nuclear power plant, a military base, as well as commercial and residential areas. The area has been exceptionally dry after unusually low rainfall and super high temperatures, creating the perfect environment for wildfires to spread.

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The blaze started as one wildfire quickly turned into nine, burning over 9,000 acres so far. Although temperatures cooled a bit last night and the winds calmed down, giving firefighters a much needed break, Thursday looks to be the hottest day of the week with temperatures creeping up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. Experts fear that the hot, dry environment will most certainly spawn even more wildfires.

Related: Officials in Western U.S. Brace for Fire Season After Drought and a Hot Winter

Experts have been predicting an exceptionally nasty fire season this year after drought and high temperatures plagued many parts of the West over the winter. For now, firefighters are battling the blaze across the county and additional air tankers and helicopters joined the fight Thursday as the fires continue to burn. Experts warn that they are already seeing an unprecedented number of fires and that the fire season is stretching much further than it used to, meaning it isn’t the last fire we will see this fire season, which has only begun.


Lead image via Shutterstock, image via USDA Forest Service