Creek Fire on Camp Pendleton forces 7,000 to evacuate on Christmas Eve

The fire burned more than 4,200 acres west of Fallbrook, California

Creek Fire on Camp Pendelton Marine Base
Creek Fire on Camp Pendelton Marine Base, December 24, 2020. CAL FIRE image.

The Creek that started on the east side on Camp Pendleton in Southern California forced 7,000 people to evacuate on Christmas Eve. Pushed by north-northeast winds of 5 to 10 mph gusting at 15 to 25 mph the fire spread across the base burning more than 4,200 acres before firefighters were able to stop the spread Thursday evening.

The fire was reported on Camp Pendleton near the intersection of De Luz Road and Harris Trail shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday. By 11 a.m. Thursday conditions had improved and the evacuation order was downgraded to a warning. Late in the afternoon showers helped firefighters slow the spread and at 5:30 Camp Pendleton announced that a fireline had been constructed around the blaze. The entirety of the fire was on the base.

map Creek Fire
Map showing the location where the Creek Fire started on Camp Pendleton. Map by Camp Pendleton.

There were no reports of any structures that burned. The 200 firefighters were assisted by four air tankers and three water-dropping helicopters.

During the first 14 hours the fire was burning, from 11 p.m. until 1 p.m., the relative humidity was 8 to 10 percent — very low for overnight conditions.

One of the aircraft used on the fire was a BAe-146 operated by Neptune Aviation. Two days before the fire started the company posted on Facebook saying the aircraft was on duty in Southern California during Christmas week, very late in the fire season.

Tanker 02

Air Tanker 02 Drops on the Creek Fire
Air Tanker 02 Drops on the Creek Fire on Camp Pendelton Marine Base, December 24, 2020. CAL FIRE image.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.