Carlsbad: Officials tell members of public to stay away from location of ‘Poinsettia Fire’

Fire officials today sought to deter onlookers from entering areas burned by a wildfire that destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and businesses in Carlsbad and possibly killed a transient.

The so-called Poinsettia Fire has charred about 600 acres since it began Wednesday. City officials said they had received reports that people had been entering the area to take pictures or just explore.

“Although the city understands why people would be curious, these areas could be dangerous, and people should stay away from all fire-damaged areas and structures,” they said in a public service message.

“Fire and building personnel have been specially trained to enter these areas,” they added. “Seeing them there does not mean it is safe for others to enter these spaces.”

The fire broke out for unknown reasons near Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and was about 90 percent contained, according to police and fire officials.

Thousands of residents were evacuated as the blaze grew, and ground and airborne crews spent about 4 1/2 hours halting the spread of the flames. All evacuation orders had been lifted by Thursday night.

City officials said an 18-unit apartment complex and a modular building were destroyed. Eight single-family homes and two commercial buildings were destroyed or incurred substantial damage.

Another 18-unit apartment complex sustained considerable damage and three single-family homes sustained minor damage, officials said.

The structural monetary losses were estimated at between $10 million and $15 million. Neighborhoods along Aviara Parkway and Black Rail Road sustained most of the damage, according to Cal Fire.

While checking for hot spots in a location known to have been used as a transient encampment in the vicinity of Ambrosia Lane and Calliandra Road, crews discovered a badly burned body, city officials said. The victim’s name

and cause of death were remained investigation.

The Carlsbad Police Department established a “hotline” for tips about the Poinsettia Fire. Anyone with information about the possible origin of the blaze was asked to call (760) 602-7599.

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