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Marine base partially evacuates from wildfire

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 6, 2013 at 10:55 pm •  Published: October 6, 2013

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — Crews built containment lines Sunday around a wind-driven wildfire that scorched nearly 4 square miles of dry brush and forced people to evacuate part of a Southern California military base.

The blaze at the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton was 20 percent contained as the fire danger subsided with calmer winds late Sunday.

The fire broke out Saturday amid hot, dry and blustery conditions throughout the region. It quickly prompted the evacuation of 230 residents from a housing unit near Lake O'Neil and caused minor damage to four buildings, base officials said. Photos posted on Camp Pendleton's Facebook page showed a few charred vehicles.

The evacuees spent the night elsewhere on the 195-square-mile coastal base in northern San Diego County and were allowed to return home Sunday evening.

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton was not threatened by the fire, but a power outage prompted officials to evacuate about 30 patients to other hospitals in the area and stop accepting new patients. Service at the hospital was restored by late Saturday, and the transferred patients were brought back to the hospital Sunday.

Nearly 340 firefighters were at the scene. The fire's cause was under investigation.

About 40 miles to the north, a fire sparked in a mulch pile at a nursery near Santiago Canyon in Orange County prompted the evacuation of 23 residents. The fire was not threatening homes and an RV park in the area, but residents were evacuated because of heavy smoke and in case a spot fire is ignited, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

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