Camp Pendleton wildfire burns 2,500 acres: Full containment expected Tuesday

CAMP PENDLETON - A 2,500-acre wildfire on the sprawling Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base was 41 percent contained Monday morning.

More than 300 federal, state and local firefighters are battling the blaze, which temporarily forced military families from their homes and patients away from a base hospital over the weekend, officials said.

PHOTOS: Camp Pendleton brush fire (mobile users: http://bit.ly/18FtgjH)

The fire erupted near Lake O'Neill close to the center of base around 12:45 p.m. Saturday and was 41 percent contained as of this morning, according to Camp Pendleton's public affairs office. Full containment was expected Tuesday, Marine Maj. Amy Malugani Punzel, a Pendleton spokeswoman, said in a statement.

On Saturday, about 330 residents in the base's O'Neill Heights housing area were evacuated but they returned home by 5 p.m. Sunday after evacuation orders were lifted, Punzel said.

Roughly 30 patients of the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton were transferred to Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside and Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park on Saturday afternoon. The hospital was cleared due to its proximity to the fire, according to a base statement, but patients returned and the hospital resumed normal operations Sunday morning.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the fire, but some minor building damage has occurred, officials said without elaboration. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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