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Thousands Flee Homes as Multiple Wildfires Scorch Southern California, at Least $22.5 Million in Damages

Scorching flames and thick smoke continues to threaten homes across northern San Diego County, California, fueled by high winds, heat and very low humidity.

At least nine fires have scorched thousands of acres, forced the evacuation of thousands and claimed more than $22.5 million in property damage this week.

The causes of the fires are being investigated, according to the Associated Press.

California Governor Edmund Brown declared a state of emergency for San Diego County Wednesday evening.

On Wednesday, a wildfire near Carlsbad claimed several homes and destroyed two commercial buildings, with early structural damage assessments estimated at $22.5 million, according to the report.

Another fire Wednesday ignited near Camp Pendleton and has since grown to 6,000 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.

By late Wednesday, a fire ignited near San Marcos and had consumed more than 800 acres by Thursday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).

As of Thursday morning, multiple fires near San Marcos was reported to have damaged and claimed homes, according to the city's official report.

California State University San Marcos has been evacuated and is closed for the rest of the week. Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Friday and Saturday have been canceled.

President Dr. Karen Haynes said on the school's website: "Canceling commencement was not a decision we took lightly and we are saddened by the circumstances. Safety continues to be our first concern."

The fires have been able to spread quickly due to heat and persistent, dry winds.

"The heat is going to continue right through into the end of the week," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards said, adding the threat of high winds should wane slightly by week's end.

No major injuries have been reported as of Thursday afternoon.