One person has been found dead in Carlsbad, a day after an intense blaze scorched a twisting path through the community, ravaging homes and forcing thousands to evacuate.
The grim discovery Thursday evening marked the first death in the rash of fires that have ripped through the San Diego area in the past three days amid high winds, extreme heat and dry conditions.
Firefighters found the victim's badly burned body while they were performing a hot spot check in a known transient encampment near Ambrosia and Calliandra, about two miles west of where the 400-acre Poinsettia Fire -- now called the San Diego Complex -- first sparked.
All evacuations were lifted in Carlsbad late Thursday, allowing residents to return home more than a day after that blaze began devastating the area.
Officials said 18 condos, four single-family homes and two commercial buildings burned in the fire. Six more homes and one other structure were also damaged.
"I'm alive, and that's how you have to look at it," said one man who watched his home go up in flames.
About 300 firefighters were on the front lines of the fire that has burned 400 acres Thursday morning. As of Friday morning, the fire was 85 percent contained.
On Wednesday, the county issued 15,000 evacuation notices by contacting people at homes, cell phones and businesses in the area wast of El Fuerte Road, south of Palomar Airport Road, north of Aviara Parkway and west to the coast.
Major roadways throughout Carlsbad were opened by 6 p.m. Thursday. However, limited access has been granted to Ambrosia Lane to facilitate support for safety personnel, officials said.
Legoland California closed early Wednesday but was open Thursday.
Fire officials are investigating the cause of the Poinsettia Fire and multiple other brush fires that sparked in San Diego County on Wednesday. Anyone who noticed suspicious activity that could have started the fire is asked to call 760-602-7599 or email PoinsettiaFire@carlsbadca.gov.