Firefighters gain upper hand on Camp Pendleton wildland fire; blaze now 70 percent contained at 1,200 acres

The Camp Pendleton Fire Dept., with the help of mutual aid assets, has been able to slow the spread of the wildland fire on the base. The successful efforts have been achieved in the northeast and southeast areas of the fire.

Fire authorities have reported that all units on scene will continue to fight the fire through today, Sun., Sept. 16.

Authorities said residents in surrounding communities can expect to continue to see significant smoke pnot Officials said there have not been any reported injuries or damage to any structures during the course of the fire. No existing threats are present to structures or the surrounding community at this time.

The fire began Friday, Sept. 14 during a training exercise at approximately noon in the Quebec Impact Area of the base and has currently burned approximately 1,200 acres.

Officials say the fire is now reportedly 70 percent contained.

(previous story)

Camp Pendleton fire has consumed more than 500 acres, rapidly traveling to the north towards Cleveland National Forest

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

The Camp Pendleton Fire Department said as of 3 p.m. today, Sat., Sept. 15, that with the help of mutual aid assets, the south and west portions of a wildland range fire has been contained at just over 500 acres.

The fire started Friday, Sept. 14 at approximately noon during a training exercise in the Whiskey Impact Area.

Authorities reported this afternoon that the fire is currently moving rapidly to the north where the base borders the Cleveland National Forest.

Camp Pendleton Fire has received help from mutual aid assets who remain on the scene. One mutual aid helicopter is providing support.

Fire officials reported that currently there are no reports of any injuries or damage to any structures. No structures are currently threatened.

(previous story)

Camp Pendleton battles five brush fires sparked by military training exercises

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

At shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, authorities on Camp Pendleton reported that firefighters had been battling five small brush fires apparently sparked by military exercises. The fires were spread over open training grounds on the base while temperatures reached sweltering hot numbers.

The group of non-injury blazes began erupting toward the center of the Marine Corps installation in the early afternoon Friday, USMC Lt. Ryan Welsh said.

As military crews were working to contain four fires, a fifth broke out toward the south end of the base about 4 p.m. Within 90 minutes, personnel had contained that burn area to about six acres.

There were no known structural threats in the early evening, though the flames were “sending up a lot of smoke,” Welsh said.

(previous story)

Fires burning on Camp Pendleton

Lucette Moramarco

Staff Writer

According to First Lt. Ryan Welsh, a number of small fires are burning on Camp Pendleton, in the Whiskey, Quebec and Zulu impact areas, all of which are in the center of the base. Smoke is visible on and off base he said, but there is no threat to personnel or structures.

A press release sent out earlier today stated that Camp Pendleton units will be conducting extended regimental live-fire artillery training exercises in the Whiskey and Zulu impact areas, Friday night through Saturday evening.

Extended firing will be conducting throughout Friday night until 2 a.m., Saturday. Training will resume at 5 a.m. and end by midnight, Saturday.

Regimental live-fire artillery exercises involve approximately 25 Howitzer 155mm cannons. Depending on atmospheric conditions, the sound of the explosions may be amplified and heard up to 50 miles away.

CAMP PENDLETON – More than one fire has been started today, with the first one around noon. The fires are likely the result of live fire training being conducted today and tomorrow. A prior press release from Camp Pendleton warned of noise that would be generated by 25 Howitzer 155 mm cannons.

It appears that there is no threat of structures at this time.

The following general information is found on the Marine Corps Camp Pendleton’s fire information pages:

As a result of the nature of some of the live-fire training conducted on Camp Pendleton, impact-area fires are not uncommon. All Camp Pendleton impact-area fires are monitored by base fire fighters to insure they pose no threat to lives or property either on or off base.

Live-fire training ranges surround what is essentially one large impact area in the middle of the base. In recognition of southern California’s historical vulnerability to fires, the impact area, the training ranges and the boundaries of the base are buffered by a network of fire breaks. To compliment the protection afforded by the fire break system, the type and scope of live-fire training conducted is regulated by what we refer to as the Fire Danger Rating.

The FDR is essentially a risk-mitigation process that considers the effects of weather, humidity, vegetation and moisture content. This process restricts, and in some cases prohibits activities that could increase the likelihood of a fire.

More information to follow as it becomes available.

35 Responses to "Firefighters gain upper hand on Camp Pendleton wildland fire; blaze now 70 percent contained at 1,200 acres"

  1. Camp Pendleton Fire   September 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Camp Pendleton firefighters are on scene and monitoring this fire.!/pages/Camp-Pendleton-Fire-Department/118400658220221

  2. FDR   September 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Well, considering that it is 108 in Fallbrook, I would say that the Fire Danger Rating is at an all-time high. Couldn’t they cease live-fire training for one or two days?

  3. Hot in Fallbrook   September 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    It is absolutely irresponsible of Pendleton to do live fire training in these hot conditions. Fires are guaranteed and can endanger surrounding communities. What are they thinking??

  4. barrym   September 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    The risk of fires when it’s so hot is increased. More fires mean more pollution.

    Is this really the best time for this exercise?

  5. Prunepicker   September 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Good Lord. What ever happened to common sense? Hoorah Marines. Stop it for a few days, huh!

  6. Once again!   September 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    It’s the smell of freedom!

  7. Fallbrook Resident 2   September 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Agree with FDR’s comment…Either that, or start doing the live fire exercises with water balloons. Then they could put out the fires and we could get some sleep.

  8. FDR's comment #2   September 15, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Live artillery training is the cause of these fires…I agree with FDR’s comment..give it a rest, boys. There are a lot of nervous residents in both Orange and San Diego County. I know, it’s only the smell of freedom!

  9. IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE!   September 15, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Is ANYONE paying attention to the Fire Danger Rating? Apparently not!

  10. 3 yrs. in Fallbrook   September 15, 2012 at 9:48 am

    People people fires make us all on edge. But, the men & women Marines are working on Base & this heat is what they will be working in when they go. I wish they could take time off to rest, but, they all have such an important job to do. As a (20 year Retired Marine family) I wish you could remember why they are working so hard in this heat. They suffer this heat in full gear for you, your children, & your future great grandchildren. I say "Thank you"

  11. Toni G   September 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Apparently brains have not been handed out to our military -practicing fire starting in this dangerous hot weather puts everyone around Camp Pendleton (and other places that are doing this sort of imbecilic stuff in a heatwave) — where the heck are the brains behind this horrible behavior???

  12. Mom of lots   September 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

    It is amazing how humans create for themselves so much complication and distress that is completely unecessary and drag themselves further into debt while doing so.

  13. Navy Corpsman's Wife   September 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

    They can’t cease fire in Afghanistan when it’s a little too hot and the fire danger is too high. They have to train for all conditions. These impact areas are at the center of a very large base and do not threaten any communities or structures. Get over it!

  14. April & Archer   September 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I agree, they should go out to 29 Palms and practice during high fire danger conditions nothing to burn out there. Communities to think about.

  15. Resident   September 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Does anyone know whats up with that fire that just poofed up, looks like another pendleton fire????

  16. chris   September 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I live in the pinnacles and i hear bombings at 630 am all the time have some ……… respect marines and ive got two kids that wake up to it and now a fire whats next you guys miss ypur target and hit our apartment

  17. Molly M   September 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Lots of smoke to the west at 2:45 on Sat. New fire??

  18. San Clemente   September 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    The fire appears to be just a few miles from sw San Clemente, and the smoke is starting to hover over San Clemente, even though the wind is blowing sw

  19. Vet and Citizen   September 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    yes, the military should stop live fire on these days, but the thing that really irks me (being former firefighter/ Instructor), is that we waste so much time, money, and put peoples lives in danger, in areas we should let burn.

    We should station firefighters around important areas and fight those fires that are threatinging life, property, etc.. But to fight fires, on areas that if you let burn (and allow the enviroment do what it naturally has done for millions of years), then future fires won’t be as dangerous, because all the areas that could start fires, wouldn’t have much fuel.

    But if we keep putting fires out in areas that do nothing but have growth of top soil, duff, weeds, etc.. and not allowing fire to clean up the wildlands, etc. then we will continue to get these massive fires that threaten all of our lives.

    Plus, with the Major stumbling block that cost us way to much money, is the Fire Lobbyist/ Unions, etc.. who fight for more moneys, due to more dangerous fires, etc..

    Wouldn’t be more dangerous fires if you let nature, naturally clean up areas by fires (which we all know is better for plant life,seedlings, etc..) like they did for millions of years, when profitting Unions weren’t around and the real concern was nature and people, not $$$$$$

  20. Vet and Citizen   September 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    And to all my fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service, stay safe and much continued success.

  21. fire dude   September 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    temecula? shoot its way down here in oceanside filling up the valley with smoke! I don’t see any response crews and its been blazing out of control coming to our houses for over an hour now. thank god that the camp pendleton firefighters always put them out but if there are too many to fight, our houses may be in danger. by the golf course on the south side close to the vandergrift gate

  22. San Diego native   September 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I have lived here all my life and have never heard of a fire getting off Camp Pendelton. They take a lot of precautions. As far as the noise, get over it.

  23. Preston   September 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Just because an event has not happened in he past does not mean it will not happen in the future. Even controlled burns get away from the experts. Common sense is always the best policy and common sense tells me that doing anything that could cause a fire when conditions are this critical is simply irresponsible.

  24. OLD FALLBROOK LOCAL   September 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    With millions of acres at 29 Palms They have to fire live rounds into tinder dry brush because?

  25. SGB   September 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    With all the Anti American Sentiment, I am happy to see the smoke of friendly fire. The Marines are training to protect you and your families. Can only imagine what they are enduring as part of their training to protect us. You might want to consider the inconvenience of the smoke as part your training and take measures to protect yourself and your family from the smoke. Someday it may not be a training exercise….

  26. De Luz Neighbor   September 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    San Diego Native, You are wrong. Homes have been burned when fires moved off base. It was a long and difficult reimbursement process from what I’ve been told. Now you know.

    I also watched the 2002 fire burn through our place and cross into Pendleton.

    All in all, the base is a pretty good neighbor. What’s the option? Orange County at our backdoor?

  27. USMC TRAINING   September 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The Marines sure aren’t training to protect us from WILDFIRES!
    Perhaps Basic Training should include wildland fire suppression!

  28. A sincere citizen   September 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

    My concern is that it was 9% humidity on top of the heat.

    I have great faith in Pendleton’s fire-fighting ability, and perhaps they see the heat waves as an opportunity to have soldiers experience functioning in the kind of climates they might well be assigned to. There is an obvious logic in that.

    But for me, almost nothing smells like freedom lately. I travel a lot by air and have talked to so many maimed and otherwise life-ruined vets on their way to treatment at specialist hospitals. They are often bitter, despondent, depressed/on pills, scarred forever physically and emotionally and mentally–and still so brave it shatters my heart.

    I have my doubts about 911, why and how and who…there are a hundred unanswered questions about that event and the unrelated war that followed….and then somehow we just moved on…to the next war. Why, really, are we in Afghanistan? Why in the world did we build a block-long five stories (underground) embassy in Iraq? Billions of our dollars find new homes every war.

    I have lost three cousins in wars we started and didn’t need to fight to "stay safe" but fought anyway to secure oil interests and big pharma interests, and to secure shipping lanes and other non-military reasons. Americas biggest $$ making industry is war and war equipment. I am not proud of that.

    I honor our soldiers and never miss a chance to pay for their lunch, their drinks, to thank them when I see them in my travels. But I am sick of the fear mongering and the artificial reasons to send our troops to fight…for what? And why don’t we have a draft anymore, so that ALL families have a stake in why and where we send our youth?

  29. local libertarian   September 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Support our soldiers; denounce the wars.

  30. 3 yrs. in Fallbrook   September 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Dear # 28, I’m sorry for your and your family’s great loss.

  31. Preston   September 17, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Our Enemy is counting on us self-destructing. We cannot agree on anything and therefore there is no unity. We give away our money and the lives of our young to protect a resource we have plenty of but are prohibited from seeking. Through prosperity, we have lost the ability to use good common sense and most ride the train of apathy rather than stand up for what is right. Demanding the Marines use good common sense is no different — Even if you believe we need to carry out training exercises to get ready for the next war, causing a fire during extreme weather conditions is just plain stupid.

  32. Per usual   September 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Camp Pendleton – Protecting California’s Natural Resources "by burning it 1,000s of acres at a time."

    After living in Fallbrook for a decade I’ll admit the noise is more than I have thought it would be and that it’s annoying but understand the reasoning for it. There however isn’t a good reason to be performing live fire exercises when it’s 105+ and a large contingent of the regions fire fighters are already fully utilized.

    Sure it’s hot overseas but if you want them to sweat have the exercise when it’s 85 degrees outside and make them wear a wool sweater. Problem solved…

  33. QueenofTaq   September 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Before buying a home, most consumer inform themselves about the surrounding areas, and since Pendleton was there far before any of you, and the USMC training has NOT changed, you are whining about some poor decision making on your part. Even before the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, our marines were training in live fire exercises. Tell me, would you turn down these troops if ever there is a conflict , God forbid, on US soil? Would you not want their well trained and practiced backup? The base is one of the largest, did you somehow MISS it on a map? Do you now want the privileges of living in a free country, whose military ensures justice and freedom, and selflessly sacrifices for all the world?

    Complaining about the Sounds of Freedom, when the streets of fallbrook are being held hostage by gangs, druggies and rich kids with little to no parenting who will and can do what they please with no repercussions? What planet do you live on? Are you hoping to protest against lightning, as it is a known fire cause? Nature, accidents, arson, are all causes of fires.Are you going to tirelessly rail at the next council meeting about those as well? Your logic and arguments are absolutely baseless, and you should all be embarrassed. Our military can level a small country… and you think they are incapable of stopping a fire within a thousands of acres large military base, that has better planned fire breaks and natural barricades (MILES OF DIRT) than you could ever imagine!

    My suggestion is to talk to the knowledgeable hard working staff of Pendleton Fire. They can educate you, if any r one of you is capable of laying down your cloaks of self serving, me first, ignorant mentalities, and listening and LEARNING.

  34. Molly M   September 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    To #33: If the Marines ARE capable of stopping a fire, then why have they not? Why aren’t these "small fires" put out immediately? Surely they know that they have started one or more with the live fire training exercises.

  35. Preston   September 20, 2012 at 7:40 am

    QueenofTag, We are talking about Common Sense here, not National Security. Extreme weather conditions do not last very long and when safer, the Marines can go back to training. I could tell you about fires that have jumped fire-breaks and gone on to destroy homes and lives but you seem like the kind of person that needs to experience things first hand.


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