PICS, VIDEO: 'Unprecedented' Wildfires Rage in Southern California
UPDATE, 2p ET: Gretchen Carlson spoke to Fire Captain Mike Mohler this afternoon about the "unprecedented" wildfires burning in San Diego County. Nearly 20,000 new evacuation orders were issued Friday as crews battle nine fires in southern California.
Mohler said if the weather cooperates over the next few days, fire crews hope to "turn the corner" soon.
Mohler said the current conditions - strong offshore winds, low humidity and months of drought - are ripe for wildfires. He explained that this type of weather is not usually seen in the area until August.
Watch the interview above.
UPDATE, 9a ET: Will Carr reported the latest from San Diego County as the wildfires continue to burn out of control. About 1,000 firefighters are battling the fires amid record-high temperatures and fierce winds. At least a dozen homes and businesses have been destroyed at this point.
Two men were arrested in Escondido for allegedly trying to set another fire. It's unclear whether the men are suspects in the current fires.
Authorities found a badly burned body in Carlsbad overnight in an area frequented by homeless people.
Watch his report from America's Newsroom above.
An out-of-control wildfire, described by Shepard Smith as a "fire tornado," is burning this afternoon in San Marcos, California, near San Diego.
Some incredible and terrifying footage was brought to us this afternoon, as Will Carr reported live from the scene.
Stay tuned to Fox News Channel throughout the day and night for more on this developing story.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego County Wednesday after temperatures approaching 100 degrees and gusting winds fueled nine wildfires covering 14 square miles Wednesday.
No major injuries were reported, but thousands were forced to flee burning homes, while hundreds of schools were closed through at least next week. At least two firefighters suffered minor injuries -- one heat-related and one from smoke inhalation.
The biggest concern late Wednesday was in San Marcos north of San Diego, where a new blaze broke out in the late afternoon, some 21,000 evacuation notices were sent to residents and a California State University campus with nearly 10,000 students was evacuated. At least five structures there were destroyed, authorities said, but it wasn't immediately clear how many were homes.
The worst of the fires was in the coastal city of Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego and home to Legoland California. The park was closed because of a power outage caused by the fire.
Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said the blaze consumed an eight-unit condominium complex and damaged eight homes and two businesses. Thousands were asked to evacuate their homes.
As the flames surged, a steady stream of residents stopped at a roadblock on a four-lane thoroughfare as they tried to return home to collect valuables.
Richard Sanchez watched nervously as a plume of black smoke rose near his home. He had left his house an hour earlier in sandals to run an errand.
"All I want to do is get there and evacuate," Sanchez said. "We have a plan, but I can't execute it."
As authorities yelled "Please evacuate!" in Joe Post's neighborhood, he grabbed a garden hose and doused a palm tree in flames between his home and his neighbor's. He debated about leaving his home, but he was worried what he might find upon returning.
"Work water, work!" he shouted, spraying down charred landscaping.
Late Wednesday, fire officials said they had stopped the advance of the flames, but other areas in the county flared up.
Officials said many schools across the county would be closed Thursday, including San Diego Unified School District. A fire on the edge of San Diego in the community of Lakeside prompted brief evacuations in the early evening Wednesday that were called off a few hours later.
Another fire broke out late Wednesday on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook at Camp Pendleton. Approximately 890 people were forced from their homes, though some were later allowed to return. Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook will be closed Thursday due to a lack of power.
Drought conditions have made fire danger extremely high throughout much of California. Officials have encouraged residents in fire-prone areas to prepare evacuation plans and clear brush from near their homes.
The Carlsbad fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. and spread through heavy brush before jumping into residential areas.
The wind-driven wildfire tossed embers onto roofs and trees, igniting them. Firefighters found themselves evacuating people and battling the blaze at the same time.
The city's fire chief said the blazes were unprecedented in his 27-year firefighting career because they are so early in the year.
"This is May, this is unbelievable. This is something we should see in October," Chief Michael Davis said. "I haven't seen it this hot, this dry, this long in May."