Camp Pendleton fire reaches 1,500 acres, forces evacuations

CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) – Camp Pendleton firefighters, aided by Cal Fire counterparts and others from around the area, continued to cut fire lines around a blaze that consumed more than 1,500 acres and forced overnight evacuation of the post hospital.

Residents of the O'Neill Heights housing area were evacuated to the Paige Fieldhouse, base officials said. Fire officials met today to evaluate the situation, and it was unknown if Marines and dependents would be allowed home today.

Meals for the evacuees were being provided by the Area 13 dining facility. Base officials said there was no threat to the nearby De Luz housing area.

Roughly 230 patients of the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton were evacuated to area hospitals, but the base hospital had resumed normal operations this morning, Marines said.

The fire was 15 percent contained as of 8:50 a.m. today, base officials said. No one was injured in the fire, which was reported about 12:45 p.m. Saturday near Lake O'Neill, close to the center of the post, according to the officials.

Traffic on Interstate 5 slowed as smoke rose above the freeway, 55 miles north of San Diego. The fire also was visible in Fallbrook and other areas in North County, authorities said. The Temecula Valley filled with smoke as well.

The fire caused minor damage to three buildings, base officials said. Camp Pendleton firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze, as were Cal Fire engines, air tankers and a helicopter, according to base officials and Cal Fire. CNS-10-06-2013 09:42

Categories: KUSI