A wildfire near a military base 50 miles north of San Diego is forcing thousands of people to evacuate on Christmas Eve, according to local fire authorities.
The fire broke out Wednesday in northern San Diego County, much of which is occupied by Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. NBC San Diego reported that about 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate overnight in the base communities and in neighboring Fallbrook.
In an update posted just after 9 a.m. Pacific Time, Ryan Rushing, a division chief at the Camp Pendleton Fire Department, said the fire had burned over 3,000 acres was zero percent contained.
Rushing said the fire’s quick development was “fueled by steep terrain, difficult access, and winds.”
Another tweet said that the military camp’s “Fallbrook gate is closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles.”
Authorities had previously said around 7:30 a.m. PT that the Creek Fire was 35 percent contained.
Early Thursday morning, Camp Pendleton ordered the evacuation of people located at its DeLuz Housing, Wounded Warrior Battalion and Lake O’Niel Campground.
Response to the Creek Fire is being led by Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the Camp Pendleton Police Department.