Calif. fires force golf companies to evacuate

A Carlsbad, Calif., police officer turns traffic away from a wildfire Thursday.

Wildfires in Carlsbad, Calif., and surrounding areas forced the evacuation of several major golf equipment companies Wednesday, including Cobra-Puma Golf, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, Titleist and Callaway Golf.

There were no reports of damage to any golf manufacturing facility, but large clouds of smoke were visible at several locations near the companies' Southern California facilities. Employees at several of the companies used Twitter to send out photos and videos of large smoke clouds.

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TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist and Cobra-Puma’s initial plans were to be open for business Thursday, but the fires could force the companies to remain closed.

The fires also threatened at least one golf course. LPGA player Ryann O’Toole used Twitter to send out a photo of a fire near Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, host of the LPGA’s Kia Classic in March, but there was no reported damage to the course. Calls to the course went directly to voicemail.

Thousands of residents were asked to evacuate their homes in Carlsbad after fire broke out Wednesday morning and quickly spread across northern San Diego County. The wind-driven wildfires shut down portions of Interstate 15 and closed the campus of Cal State-San Marcos, about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego. It's final-exam week at the 10,000-student school, and graduation ceremonies are scheduled for this weekend.

At least two firefighters incurred minor injuries as the annual wildfire season begins in California. At least three homes have been destroyed and about a dozen damaged in a Carlsbad neighborhood, said Mike Davis, the city's fire chief.

The largest fire near Carlsbad, dubbed the Poinsettia fire, was reported to be mostly contained by 3 p.m. PDT, but fire crews were concerned about the possibility of several other hot spots breaking into full flames, the newspaper website utsandiego.com reported.

– Associated Press contributed

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