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Cristianitos Fire chars 760 acres; 70% contained

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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Military and civilian firefighters worked in concert for a second day Thursday to subdue a wildfire that has blackened hundreds of acres on the grounds of Camp Pendleton and in the southern reaches of neighboring Orange County.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 6 p.m. off Cristianitos Road near San Mateo Campground, at the northwest edge of the Marine Corps base.

The fast-moving flames soon moved into San Clemente, where they threatened homes and an animal shelter, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.

Hundreds of firefighters from Camp Pendleton and civilian agencies battled the blaze, dubbed the Cristianitos Fire, through the night, as flames got close to some homes and a business park.

"It looked like it was way off in Camp Pendleton but in a matter of four hours, it was in our backyard," Steve Moore said.

No structural damage or injuries had been reported as of Thursday afternoon, by which time the flames had spread over a roughly 760-acre area, three-quarters of it within Camp Pendleton, said USMC Capt. Brian Capt Villiard, a spokesman for the northern San Diego County military base.

The fire was 70 percent contained as of Thursday night. Firefighters expect to have full containment by mid-morning Friday.

No evacuations have been ordered.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Villiard said.