Evacuations Ordered at Camp Pendleton Amid Brush Fire

DeLuz Fire was fully contained Wednesday evening

By Joe Young, Christina London and Monica Garske
|  Thursday, Oct 10, 2013  |  Updated 4:04 PM EDT
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This time lapse shows how the DeLuz Fire on Camp Pendleton progressed on Saturday, Oct. 5.

This time lapse shows how the DeLuz Fire on Camp Pendleton progressed on Saturday, Oct. 5.

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Firefighters Make Progress on DeLuz Fire

Evacuation orders have been lifted at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and for residents of the O'Neill Heights housing area after the DeLuz fire. As NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports, firefighters are holding the fire at 2,500 acres and hope to have it fully contained by Tuesday.
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A 2,236-acre brush fire that began burning Saturday on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in San Diego County is now fully contained, according to base officials.

Camp Pendleton Fire Department will continue to watch for flare-ups.

The large fire, dubbed the "DeLuz Fire" by Cal Fire officials, was first reported around 12:45 p.m. Saturday near the DeLuz training area and Lake O'Neil. The fire sparked in the middle of a red flag warning and dangerous fire conditions that plagued the county all weekend long.

At this point, officials said a total of four modular temporary buildings on base were damaged in the fire, as well as three vehicles. No housing units or homes on base have been damaged.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but base officials said the blaze did not begin in an artillery impact area. There was no training scheduled nearby when the fire sparked, officials said.

On Saturday, at its onset, base officials said the blaze was moving north along the Santa Margarita River. Heavy smoke from the fire was visible throughout the North County.

Throughout that evening, more than 200 firefighters from Camp Pendleton and Mutual Aid crews battled the blaze.

The fire prompted the evacuation of Camp Pendleton's O'Neill Heights housing units to the Semper Fit Paige Fieldhouse, according to the base Public Affairs Office.

In all, 330 residents were evacuated from base housing. By Sunday night, residents were allowed to return to their homes, per instructions from base officials.

 Besides the day-long evacuation of the O'Neill Heights housing units, the DeLuz Fire also forced 30 patient evacuations at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. Patients from the Naval Hospital were evacuated to Tri-City Hospital and Naval Medical Center San Diego.

By Sunday, patients returned to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and the hospital was fully operating, officials confirmed.

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The Southern California Interagency Team 1 took command of the fire Sunday afternoon. The team was able to conduct more observations of the fire and report a more accurate mapping of the acreage, which still holds at 2,236 acres.

At one point, base officials said there were 339 firefighters from multiple agencies battling the fire, including crews from the U.S. Forest Service, Camp Pendleton and local, county and state fire departments.

Base officials said that as containment increased, response personnel would be demobilized.

Though several buildings sustained minor damage in the fire, there have been no reports of any injuries.


View De Luz Rd in a larger map

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