California brush fire at U.S. Marine base forces evacuation of 7,000-plus residents
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wind-powered flames racing through miles of drybrushes on a U.S. Marine Corps base in southern California led to the evacuation of more than 7,000 residents from neighborhoods on the edge of the sprawling facility on Thursday.
The so-called Creek Fire broke out on a roadside on the east flank of Camp Pendleton north of San Diego on Wednesday evening and charred about 3,000 acres around noon on Thursday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) reported.
No property damage or injuries were reported, but the fire resulted in mandatory evacuations from base shelters as well as homes in the adjacent Fallbrook civil parish early Thursday, displacing 7,000 people there, CalFire Captain Thomas Shoots said.
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By noon, firefighters still had to set firm control lines around the fire, with containment at zero, although fierce Santa Ana winds, which initially fanned the flames through drought-dried grass and brushes, had subsided by early afternoon, Shoots said.
The cause of the fire was investigated.
The incident ended California's worst wildfire season in terms of total area burned, with more than 4 million acres and over 10,000 homes and other buildings on fire. Thirty-three people died.
(Reported by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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