California wildfires in San Diego force evacuations

At least one firefighter has been slightly injured

Thousands of people in California have been forced to flee after wildfires hit San Diego county on Wednesday. A major fire engulfed the coastal town of Carlsbad, north of San Diego, scorching several buildings and forcing an amusement park to close.

Further north, blazes also caused evacuations at a nuclear plant and a military base. At least one firefighter has been slightly injured. Months of drought have made California particularly prone to fires this year.

The state, and other areas on the US west coast, often experience wildfires over the warmer months. 

Nine fires raged across San Diego county on Tuesday and Wednesday, and officials ordered at least 20,000 people to leave their homes. The Legoland theme park in Carlsbad was closed due to power surges, while San Onofre nuclear power plant briefly evacuated non-essential staff as a precautionary measure.

Fires also hit the military base at Camp Pendleton, between San Diego and Los Angeles. Carlsbad fire chief Michael Davies said such fires were unprecedented this time of year.

"This is May, this is unbelievable. This is something we should see in October," he said. Officials say tinder dry conditions following many months of drought – coupled with the winds and high temperatures – have left parts of the region highly combustible.

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