Wildfire at Marine explosives range contained

Wildfire at Marine explosives range contained

9 October 2008

published by ap.google.com

USA — A wildfire that burned up to 1,900 acres on a Marine Corps explosives range was contained Thursday without causing any injuries or damage to buildings on the base, officials said.

The blaze was fully surrounded about 16 hours after it began, Marine Cpl. Priscilla Vitale said.

The fire erupted Wednesday afternoon about 40 miles north of San Diego as hot, dry weather gripped Southern California. Aircraft attacked the flames and firefighters set backfires, working through the night to slow its advance.

The fire burned between 1,400 and 1,900 acres, said Marine Maj. Kristen Lasica.

The flames were far from the populated part of the 125,000-acre base, but Camp Pendleton’s golf course was evacuated as a precaution.

Billowing smoke could be seen in neighboring counties. Some people in Los Angeles called 911 to report the smell of smoke Thursday, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Marine officials said they did not know the fire’s cause or whether training was going on at the range at the time.

A small, separate brush fire broke out and briefly threatened several homes on the base shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, but it was quickly contained.

Last October, more than 21,000 acres burned in remote areas of the base. No structures were damaged.

Camp Pendleton, one of the largest bases in the country, takes up 125,000 acres in northern San Diego County. It is home to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The Marine Corps established the base in 1942.

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