Conditions improve for Camp Pendleton fire: Full containment expected Tuesday

Evacuees return to hospital, homes

CAMP PENDLETON - The skies cleared over Camp Pendleton on Monday but not before more than 2,200 acres were scorched from a weekend brush fire.  

As of 6 p.m. Monday, officials said the fire burned 2,236 acres and is 67 percent contained.

About 30 patients at the naval hospital and some 300 residents at the O'Neill Heights housing area who were evacuated have returned.

"When I left Saturday, I didn't know what we would return to but when we turned the corner to come home I started crying because the housing area looked fine," said Allison Fulcher, who was evacuated.

The fire burned up to the fence line at the housing area, but a task force of federal and civilian fire agencies kept the flames away from homes. A trailer in the way of the fast-moving and smoky fire was burned, as was a utility truck and a car that belongs to a Marine family.

 "We are doing what we can to help raise money for the deductible to replace the burned out car because losing the car may be the only thing that family has to get where they need to go," said Kristine Schellhaas from her home in Virginia. 

Schellhaas used to live at the base and operates a website called that helps families.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but firefighters hope to have full containment by Tuesday.

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