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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — A brush fire at Camp Pendleton exploded into what officials initially said was 1,000 acres Wednesday, prompting mandatory evacuations, officials at the Marine Corps base said on their Facebook page.

The fire is east of the 33 Area, base officials said. Mandatory evacuations were ordered Wednesday afternoon for 25 Area, 26 Area and 27 Area. The 25 Area includes Lake O'Neill Campground and the Wounded Warrior Battalion. The areas are generally in the southeast portion of the base, north of what is colloquially known as the "back gate" off Vandegrift.

Base officials said later that some roads closed for the fire battle had reopened, and evacuees from O'Neill Heights Housing, Lake O'Neill Camp Ground and Wounded Warrior Battalion would be allowed to return at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The evacuation center is at Paige Fieldhouse, south of the fire.

Base officials said Wednesday afternoon that the fire was at 1,000 acres. A short time later, they said they did not know the size of the fire.

The North County Fire Protection District, located east of the base in the Fallbrook area, tweeted that there is no threat to its district.

Base officials said people can follow its Facebook page for updates. The cause of the fire is not known.

This week Camp Pendleton hosted the annual Wildland Fire School, which provides training for firefighters and sets fires for prescribed burns. According to the base's Facebook page, participants include Cal Fire and community fire agencies.

Updates: 6:40 p.m., Jun. 09, 2021: This story was updated to indicate some evacuees would be allowed to return Wednesday night.

©2021 The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Visit sandiegouniontribune.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base sign outside the main gate of the base.
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base sign outside the main gate of the base. (San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

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