Evacuations lifted in Camp Pendleton fires

CAMP PENDLETON — Three separate brush fires at Camp Pendleton have scorched more than 1,600 acres, but Sunday officials allowed residents to return to their homes.

One fire, referred to as the Vandergrift Incident, broke out around 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Mainside area of the base. It had burned 560 acres and was 70 percent contained late Saturday, according to Camp Pendleton officials.

The second fire, known as the Horno Incident, was reported as 50 acres at about 7 p.m. Friday but had quickly spread to more than 1,000 acres Saturday.

It was 30 percent contained at 1,200 acres Saturday evening, base officials said.

Basilone Road was shut down from 43 Area in the center of the base to the 52 Area to the north as a result of that fire.

And a third incident, burning in impact area Range 409, had blackened 40 acres Saturday. Firefighters were keeping an eye on the blaze, which didn’t pose a threat to structures or base personnel.

Smoke from the fires was cloaking parts of southern Orange County on Saturday, prompting the Orange County fire officials to announce that the fires posed no threat to San Clemente.

Evacuations had been ordered for Lake O’Neill Recreational Park, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service building, the O’Neill Heights housing community, DeLuz Family Housing and DeLuz Child Development Center on Friday, and evacuees were directed to the Paige Field House. Around 750 homes had been evacuated around by 3 p.m. Friday.

By 10 p.m. Friday, Camp Pendleton tweeted that three specific areas — O’Neill Heights housing, Wounded Warrior regiment and 27 Area barracks — were cleared to be reopened. The base also tweeted around 4:30 a.m. Saturday that De Luz housing was cleared to be reopened, but De Luz Road remained closed near Vandergrift Boulevard.