Lilac Fire — a new fire in San Diego County

Above: The view of the Lilac Fire as seen from an HPWREN camera on Red Mountain near Fallbrook, CA, looking south at about 1:45 p.m. PST December 7, 2017.

(UPDATED at 4:25 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

CAl FIRE reports that the Lilac Fire south of Temecula, CA has grown to 2,500 acres. New evacuation order: South of Hwy 76, West of I-15 Freeway, North of Gopher Canyon Rd, East of East Vista Way & Mission Rd.

Two civilian burn victims were treated & transported.

(All articles on Wildfire Today about the Lilac Fire can be found HERE.)

A temporary evacuation point has been set up at the Carlsbad Forum, and a temporary evacuation center has been established at Great Oak High School, 32555 Deer Hollow Way, Temecula, CA.

Approximately 20 structures have been destroyed.

map lilac fire california wildfire
The red squares represent heat detected by a satellite on the Lilac Fire early in the afternoon on December 7, 2017. Click to enlarge.


(UPDATED at 2:40 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

The Lilac Fire south of Temecula, CA “is growing at a dangerous rate of spread with 1,000 structures threatened”, a spokesperson for CAL FIRE said at 2:25 p.m. Five structures have been destroyed and Highway 76 is closed in both directions.

In addition to federal and state aircraft working the fire now, CAL FIRE is making arrangements to use military helicopters from Camp Pendleton and Naval Air Station North Island during the day and night flying helicopters from San Diego Fire-Rescue.


(UPDATED at 2:23 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

aircraft Lilac Fire
The map shows the vicinity of the Lilac Fire south of Temecula, CA and aircraft flying in the area. The green track was the path of an OV-10, an air attack ship. In the last few minutes we have seen an S-2, a DC-10, an RJ85, and a BAe-146 (all air tankers) working the fire.


(UPDATED at 2:04 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

CAL FIRE reported at 1:51 p.m. PST that the Lilac Fire south of Temecula has grown to 500 acres. New evacuation orders have been issued for “North of Camino Del Rey, West of I-15 Freeway, South of W. Lilac Rd. to Mission Rd.”. New evacuation warnings are in effect for “North of Pala Rd., South of Reche Rd., West of I-15 Freeway, East of Green Canyon Rd. & W. Mission Rd.”


(Updated at 1:48 p.m. PST December 7, 2017)

Here are a couple of photos of a new fire in southern California — the Lilac Fire south of Temecula near the intersection of Interstate 15 and Route 76. Both of these photos are looking south, so it appears that an east or northeast wind is pushing the fire to the west away from the freeway.

A spokesperson for CAL FIRE said at 12:38 p.m. it was 100 to 150 acres. Mandatory evacuations are in effect  in the area of W. Lilac Rd. and Sullivan Middle School. Two structures have been destroyed and 12 damaged.

Below is what they are calling a “live stream” of the Lilac Fire from an HPREN camera on Red Mountain northwest of the fire. The image appears to update about every minute or so. If it does not refresh after a couple of minutes, reload this page.

At 11:55 a.m. PST a weather station in Fallbrook recorded 75 degrees, relative humidity of 6 percent, and an ENE wind at 15 mph gusting to 32.

lilac fire california
The view from a CALTRANS camera south of Temecula, CA at the intersection of I. 15 and Route 66, looking south.
map Lilac Fire
The red squares represent heat detected by a satellite on the Lilac Fire at about 1:30 p.m. PST December 7. We are not certain if the “heat” east of I. 15 is plotted accurately. Click to enlarge.

On the map above, that clump of light-colored structures southwest of the I. 15/Route 76 intersection is a densely packed trailer park.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

7 thoughts on “Lilac Fire — a new fire in San Diego County”

  1. my prayers for all my residents effected by the lilac fire. i lived in oceanside many years, right in the evacuated area.

  2. Please can you update the fire maps for 12/8/17? Where is it burning now? What did it burn lastnight? I have family in Vista and they evacuated but no one is showing anything current.

  3. Wow, that NBC7 video shows the fire in the giant riprian riverbed floodplain. Very very dense vegetation, much of it dead material all the way to the Pacific Ocean. with little barriers (natural or man made) in between. The hills video up top are heavy chaparral with numerous rural residents. From that video, I can see this getting to Oceanside’s backdoor in no time. Very spooky.

    1. Fox News in San Diego reports another wildfire in Murrieta & Wildomar area in Riverside County north of Temecula to the north of this one on I-15 freeway


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