Firefighters battle the so-called Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, California May 14, 2014.
Reuters/Sam HodgsonFirefighters battle the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, Calif., on May 14, 2014.

Drought-parched Southern California has erupted in flames, months before the state’s fire season used to normally begin. The fires threaten homes and schools — and a shuttered nuclear power plant.

More than 20,000 people were evacuated from their homes on Wednesday as wildfires tore through the San Diego area, where temperatures today could hit 106 degrees. From The Christian Science Monitor:

For many Californians, the wildfire season has settled into expectation and habit. But this year, the highly flammable combination of record heat, the seasonal Santa Ana winds, and lack of rain are exacerbating the problem and producing severe fire conditions several months ahead of the usual fire season.