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Marine Corps Commandant thanks Marines for firefighting efforts; all evacuation orders lifted


Saturday, May 17th, 2014
Issue 20, Volume 18.


CAMP PENDLETON - Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, the Marine Corps Installations West commanding general, with the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, who arrived at noon today, were briefed on the three major fires on base known as the Basilone Complex.

The Commandant gave his personal thanks and congratulations to Marines and firefighters involved in the firefighting operations.

The Commandant and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett commended Marines from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and 1st Marine Logistics Group for their efforts during firefighting operations. 3rd MAW aircraft dropped more than 540,000 gallons of water to assist with the firefighting efforts in San Diego County since Wednesday.

The Las Pulgas and Cristianitos Gates are open for normal operations. Las Pulgas Road is now open.

Ammunition Road aboard Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook will remain closed throughout the weekend, but is scheduled to open for regular traffic starting at 12:01 a.m. early Monday morning.

All Child Development Centers on base will be open on Monday.

For school closures, parents are advised to contact their child's school for specific information. Local school telephone numbers can be found at: https://pendleton.usmc.afpims.mil/Family/LocalSchools.aspx.

The Tomahawk fire that started Wednesday on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook is currently listed at 5,400 acres burned and 97% contained.

The Las Pulgas fire first reported at 3:15 p.m. Thursday has burned 15,000 acres and is listed at

55% contained.

The San Mateo Fire that was reported at 11:24 a.m. Friday has burned 1,500 acres and is currently listed as 80% contained.

The evacuation order for all areas has been lifted.

(PREVIOUS STORY, Sat., May 17)

Camp Pendleton evacuation order lifted for some residents, military personnel

CAMP PENDLETON - An evacuation order for some Camp Pendleton residents and personnel was lifted today as military and civilian firefighters worked to contain three wildfires on the sprawling Marine Corps base that have blackened more than 22,000 acres.

School of Infantry West Marines were allowed to return to the area via the Basilone Road Gate off Interstate 5, and residents of the San Onofre housing area can return home using San Onofre Advertisement
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gate and Basilone Road, authorities said.

Military officials said only essential personnel were required to report to work today and evacuation orders remained in place for Camp San Mateo, near the base's northern edge; Camp Las Pulgas in the center; Marine Air Support Squadron 3 south of Las Pulgas; Camp Las Flores in the western center portion; and Camp Vado Del Rio northwest of Mainside.

Camp Vado Del Rio, Camp Margarita, Camp Las Flores and Marine Air Support Squadron 3 were without power, base officials said.

The latest blaze to break out at Camp Pendleton -- dubbed the San Mateo Fire -- began spreading just before 11:30 a.m. Friday near Basilone Road, according to Cal Fire.

By mid-morning today, it had grown to about 1,000 acres and was 25 percent contained, the state agency reported.

The fast-moving Las Pulgas Fire broke out about 3:15 p.m. Thursday near a sewage plant in the Las Pulgas area and has led to hundreds of evacuations. It had grown to about 15,000 acres and was about 40 percent contained today.

The third fire -- known as the Tomahawk Fire -- erupted on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook at the eastern outskirts of Camp Pendleton about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday and later spread to the Marine base.

The Tomahawk Fire has blackened about 6,500 acres and was 75 percent contained this morning, according to military officials. The Fallbrook Navy facility lost power and remained closed today.

The Christianitos and Las Pulgas gates on Camp Pendleton also remained closed today.

The following road closures were in effect today:

-- Basilone Road from the air station to Camp Horno;

-- Las Pulgas Road;

-- San Mateo Road between Camp San Mateo and Camp San Onofre;

-- Ammunition Road on Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook;

-- Stuart Mesa Road from north of Assault Craft Unit 5 to the Las Pulgas gate.

The causes of all three fires were under investigation.


 

2 comments

Comment Profile ImageKenXo
Comment #1 | Monday, May 19, 2014 at 5:47 am
Thank you to all the hard working Marines and Firefighters who demonstrated incredible skill as well as coordination keeping the Tomahawk fire from spreading into Fallbrook.

Check out this YouTube video showing Marine helicopters pulling water from two small ponds in Fallbrook: http://youtu.be/QP75DScdWIQ

The pilots had trees within 20 feet in any direction of their rotor tips and had to maintain consistent hover while filling water bladders and fighting Santa Ana winds.
Comment Profile ImageRerere
Comment #2 | Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 5:52 am
I agree with comment #1, It was the military that came to the rescue to save even a small portion of our town. Even though there was panic that filled the air with the big fire, I still have faith in our men and women in the military and firefighters. Well done!!!!! And Thank you all who put their lives on the lines for us every day!!

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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