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.
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.
Scoop, Fly, Drop, Repeat.
Make sure you look at the circle mirror for a unique perspective of the hose filling the 375-gallon belly of @SDSheriff ASTREA 10 hovering over Lake O’Neill at Camp Pendleton @MCIWPendletonCA. We will be helping with water drops until sunset. pic.twitter.com/bQZIAxYnoB
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) December 24, 2020