Tomahawk Fire Burns 6,000 Acres at Camp Pendleton

Nearly 900 people were evacuated from base housing and schools

The largest brush fire in San Diego County on Wednesday sparked near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and it's still causing problems heading into its second day.

The Tomahawk Fire has burned about 6,000 acres so far and is about 20 percent contained, according to Camp Pendleton officials. 

Despite the size of the fire, officials said no homes have been damaged.

Nearly 900 people were evacuated to the Paige Fieldhouse. Residents from De Luz and O’Neill Heights housing, students at Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and personnel at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook were all sent to the evacuation site.

O'Neill Heights residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

Because of damage to more than 40 power lines, the De Luz housing area is still without power. Crews will not be able to start repairs until the morning.

Both the Fallbrook Union High School District and the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, which includes Mary Fay Elementary, will be closed Thursday.

Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook gates will also be closed Thursday.

Military students who attend Fallbrook High School were bused directly to the Paige Fieldhouse after school, according to Camp Pendleton Scout.

Meantime, children at the De Luz Child Development Center were evacuated and taken to the Fisher Child Care Center. Personnel in the 14-Area were asked to shelter in place.

The fire started around 9:45 a.m. near the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook gate on the east side of base, one of the first in a string of wildfires across the county Wednesday.

Aerial pictures showed black smoke and orange flames burning near apparent storage units. Air tankers, helicopters and military aircraft drop water and retardant onto the flames.

Sgt. Matt Klopp hopes the fire doesn't move any closer to base.

“Over the gate there, it’s pretty much just open grass,” Klopp said.

Crews from Cal Fire, North County Fire, Orange County Fire, Oceanside Fire and the San Diego Sheriff's Department are assisting base fire crews.

At 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Camp Pendleton was 76 degrees with 19 percent humidity and calm winds. The high is expected to be 99 degrees Thursday.

Brush fires forced the evacuations of homes and schools across the North County Wednesday, including in Carlsbad where several homes were destroyed. See map of active fires in the county

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency in San Diego County.

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