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Fallbrook Evacuations Lifted

Submitted photo.
Submitted photo.

Evacuated Fallbrook residents were allowed to return home tonight as a fire that charred about 6,000 acres on and near Camp Pendleton continued to burn and another fire scorched more than 50 acres of brush on the other side of the base.

The so-called Tomahawk Fire erupted for unknown reasons around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Fallbrook facility on the outskirts of Camp Pendleton, then spread onto the North County Marine Corps installation. Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook lost power and will be closed today.

Residents of the approximately 500 households on Olive Hill Road between South Mission and Burma roads received an evacuation message via phone, email or text message because the fire threatened to spread off base, according to sheriff's officials. Residents and small pets were asked to seek shelter at Escondido High School.

They were later allowed to return home, but were advised that Olive Hill and Burma roads remained closed at Sleeping Indian Road.

The most recent blaze broke out about 2 p.m. near a sewage plant and prompted the evacuation of personnel to the School of Infantry Parade deck behind the mess hall, the officials said.

The Camp Pendleton Scout reported that facilities in the Las Pulgas area were evacuated, including a store, gas station, restaurant, recreating center, barber shop and laundromat.

Base officials said most of the facilities that were evacuated Wednesday because of other fires at the base have reopened.

The Tomahawk Fire, the first of the fires near Camp Pendleton, burned around 6,000 acres at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook and on the eastern side of Camp Pendleton amid dry, blisteringly hot conditions and was not contained as of mid-day today, Cal Fire Division Chief Dave Allen said.

Another fire broke out on Wednesday on the eastern side of Interstate 5, near Las Pulgas Road, about 15 minutes after the first, according to the California Highway Patrol. The blaze, which was possibly caused by a fire that engulfed and gutted a box truck, blackened 30 acres and prompted a temporary closure of both sides of the freeway in the area.

Military and civilian crews from several area agencies battled the flames on the ground and from firefighting aircraft.

Read updates on the San Diego County Wildfires here: Thursday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage.

—City News Service

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