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Wildfire chars Camp Pendleton training zone

CAMP PENDLETON — A brush fire spread over open terrain on the grounds of Camp Pendleton today, blackening dozens of acres but causing no structural damage or injuries.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 11:30 a.m. in a training area in the southern reaches of the Marine Corps station, according to base public affairs.

Crews were able to halt the spread of the flames within about two hours.

“The forward progress of the fire has been stopped, and now we are in what’s called the mop-up phase,” Camp Pendleton Fire Department Division Chief Bruce Wathen said in the early afternoon. “Then we will patrol through the evening to make sure there (are) no more hazards (in) the area.”

As of 2:30 p.m., crews had the roughly 42-acre burn area fully contained, officials said.

An average of 185 wildland fires break out annually at the 125,000-acre northern San Diego County military installation, burning across as many as 15,000 acres over the course of a year, according to Camp Pendleton emergency services officials.

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