San Marcos Fire: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Raw: Thousands Told to Flee San Marcos FireCalifornia officials say 21,000 evacuation notices were sent to residents of San Marcos, north of San Diego. Also, 10,000 students were told to evacuate a local college campus. A huge fire broke out in San Marcos on Wednesday. (May 15)2014-05-15T10:00:21.000Z

A terrifying wildfire has swept through the city of San Marcos in Southern California, gutting houses and at one point creating a fire tornado. Roughly 3,000 residents were allowed to return to their homes after authorities lifted an evacuation order early Friday but the fire burned 1,200 acres.

Here’s what you need to know about the fire:

1. The Fire Has Burned More Than 9,000 Acres

Cal Fire: San Marcos Blaze 'Making An Extreme Run,' Prompting More EvacuationsThe 1,200-acre Cocos fire in San Marcos continues to burn erratically Thursday, destroying houses and forcing nearby residents from their homes.2014-05-16T00:07:18.000Z

As of Friday morning, the Cocos Fire burned 1,200 acres in San Marcos and residents have been allowed to return to their homes, KPBS reports.

(Bill Wechter/Getty Images)

(Bill Wechter/Getty Images)

Nine separate fires in the last two days have burned more than 9,000 acres in this area of Southern California, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

2. The Fire Created a Fire Tornado

KTLA reports a tornado of flames erupted near homes in San Marcos as a result of the fires.

3. At Least 20 Structures Have Been Damaged

Transformer explodes during San Marcos fireA transformer explodes during a hillside fire in San Marcos.2014-05-15T20:11:35.000Z

Officials said at least 20 structures had been damaged in five fires, including three homes in San Marcos as of Thursday morning.

4. People Have Been Urged to Evacuate Quickly

County of San Diego Deputy Chief Ron Lane told KTLA people should be prepared to leave their homes within 15 minutes if they’re told to do so by officials.

5. Fires in Nearby Carlsbad Destroyed Hundreds of Acres

San Diego 6 reports that fires in nearby Carlsbad have destroyed nearly 400 acres and resulted in roughly $22.5 million in damage.

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