Camp Pendleton evacuations lifted

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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — More than 300 federal, state and local firefighters Monday battled a 2,500-acre wildfire on Camp Pendleton that temporarily forced military families from their homes and patients away from a base hospital, officials said.

Camp-Pendleton-FireThe fire erupted near Lake O’Neill close to the center of base around 12:45 p.m. Saturday and was 41 percent contained as of Monday morning, according to the base public affairs office. Full containment was expected Tuesday, the Marines said in a statement.

About 340 firefighters fromĀ  the U.S. Forest Service, Camp Pendleton, Cal Fire and local fire departments worked through the night Sunday building containment lines. Fire officials did not expect the blaze to spread Monday and were planning to release some fire crews, the Marines said.

On Saturday, about 330 residents in the base’s O’Neill Heights housing area were evacuated but they returned home by 5 p.m. Sunday after evacuation orders were lifted.

In addition to some base housing being evacuated, roughly 30 patients of the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton were diverted to Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside and Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park on Saturday afternoon.

The hospital was cleared due to its close proximity to the fire, according to a base statement. Patients had returned and the hospital had resumed normal operations as of Sunday morning.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the fire, but some minor building damage has occurred, officials said without elaboration. The cause of the fire was under investigation.