Camp Pendleton fire forces evacuations; no injuries reported
SAN DIEGO – A fire has been burning at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton for more than nine hours, consuming more than 1,000 acres and forcing evacuations at a base housing area and part of the base hospital.
The fire burned near Lake O’Neill and the hospital, causing about 230 people to be evacuated from units at O’Neill Heights. Residents were moved to a field house on base, where they will spend Saturday night in one-person temporary apartments opened for their use by the base, according to a news release.
Thirty people were evacuated from the base hospital near the fire and sent to other local hospitals Saturday afternoon; and the base hospital stopped accepting new patients because of a power failure, Marine officials said, though the hospital was back open and in full service Saturday night.
At least four buildings had sustained minor damage from the blaze, but no injuries had been reported at 9:30 p.m. Pacific time on Friday.
Eight ground crews and nine brush trucks were fighting the fire, along with six air tankers, five helicopters and two other aircraft. About 218 firefighters were expected to work through the night to battle the flames; the air assets left Camp Pendleton on Saturday evening.
Base officials reported at 5:25 p.m. Pacific time that the fire was 15 percent contained, but the flames reached another 750 acres after that announcement.
Thick black smoke was visible several miles south and east of the base Saturday afternoon.
Base fire crews first responded to reports of a fire near Lake O’Neill at 12:45 p.m.