Crews Face Extreme Heat at Tomahawk Fire

The Tomahawk Fire has reached 6,000 acres and is 15 percent contained

Two separate brush fires prompted evacuations on Camp Pendleton and in the surrounding area Thursday afternoon.

There was a mandatory evacuation order for Olive Hill Road from South Mission Road to Ladera Vista Road as the Tomahawk Fire flared up and moved south into Fallbrook. Nearly 400 homes, businesses and cell phones received calls from the county telling them to evacuate.

The flare-up nearly extinguished by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Navy officials, and about an hour later, the evacuation order was lifted for all Fallbrook residents. 

Residents of two base housing communities De Luz and O'Neill Heights on Camp Pendleton have been allowed to return home as well.  De Luz was left without power Wednesday night after more than 40 power lines were destroyed in the Tomahawk Fire.

Meanwhile, crews moved off to a new fire --dubbed the Las Pulgas Fire-- that started near a base sewage plant.

That blaze forced the evacuation of Camp Las Pulgas and Camp Margarita on Camp Pendleton. From Las Pulgas, 309 personnel moved to the School of Infantry parade deck, and 62 Margarita personnel went to the I MEF parade deck, according to Marine Corps officials.

The Las Pulgas Fire has burned 600 acres and has no containment. 

One fire-related injury was reported at 5:30 p.m. Thursday: a firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and immediatly was moved off the fire line for treatment. 

Fallbrook Union High School District and the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, which cover Camp Pendleton, were closed Thursday and will be closed again Friday.

Only essential personnel reported to Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook on Thursday.

The fast-moving Tomahawk Fire has reached 6,300 acres and is now 15 percent contained, according to Marine Corps officials.

Cal Fire Capt. Kendall Bortisser said there were 10 pieces of aircraft working on the brush fire Thursday morning.

Temperatures at Camp Pendleton reached 100 degrees Thursday. As of 4:30 p.m., the winds had picked up slightly, measuring around 10 mph. Humidity plummeted to 3 percent.

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

Despite the size of the fire, officials said no homes have been damaged. Several outbuildings and storage units did sustain damage.

Nearly 900 people were evacuated on Camp Pendleton.

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