3 California Fires Merge into Single Blaze

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Three fires in a North County riverbed merged into one big fire overnight.

The fires were in the same area where more than a dozen other fires have burned in the past few weeks: the San Luis Rey riverbed west of the Oceanside Airport.

Fire crews spent the night mopping up hot spots after extinguishing towering flames that ripped through the riverbed on Tuesday. Oceanside firefighters said they were called out to fight the fire along state Route 76 just before 6:30 p.m. They said that the three separate fires were burning several hundred yards apart before they combined to create a blaze that shot flames 30 feet into the air.

Nearly 100 firefighters were involved battling the blazes in the rough terrain, which ended up charring between 5 and 10 acres.

No structures were threatened by the fire, and no one was injured by it either, according to officials.

Fire investigators and the Oceanside police are investigating Tuesday's fires, along with more than a dozen others that have burned in the last two months. All of the fires burned within 1.25 miles of each other. They said that they have no evidence yet to link the fires together, other than their locations.

Authorities said there is a transient population lives in this area with a history of small fires. Officials said, however, that those encampments are in the process of being cleared.

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