California brush fire forces U.S. Marine base evacuations

by Reuters
Sunday, 6 October 2013 18:48 GMT

Oct 6 (Reuters) - A brush fire raging unchecked in southern California has burned 1,500 acres and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents from a U.S. Marine Corps base, a Marine spokesman said on Sunday.

Fanned by strong winds, the blaze north of San Diego has damaged buildings at Camp Pendleton but no injuries were reported, said Gunnery Sergeant Leo Salinas.

The fire began around noon on Saturday on the more than 125,000-acre camp in San Diego County, damaging three buildings. Only about 15 percent of the fire had been contained by Sunday morning, Salinas said.

Some of the 230 people who were evacuated were staying in other buildings on the base, Salinas said.

More than 200 firefighters from the Camp Pendleton Fire Department were battling the blaze with the help of six air tankers. Firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection were also providing assistance.

Santa Ana winds that have been pummeling southern California over the weekend are expected to continue until Sunday evening. Firefighters are on alert because of the area's dry conditions.

"Today will be another high fire danger day throughout much of southern California," said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. (Reporting By Noreen O'Donnell; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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