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Creek Fire forces Christmas Eve evacuations north of San Diego

Thousands of people were told to evacuate the Camp Pendleton military base and nearby communities as the Creek Fire spread.
A wildfire in northern San Diego County, Calif., on Dec. 24 triggered evacuation orders.
A wildfire in northern San Diego County, Calif., on Dec. 24 triggered evacuation orders. @CALFIRESANDIEGO / via Twitter

A wildfire near a military base 50 miles north of San Diego forced thousands of people to evacuate on Christmas Eve, according to local fire authorities.

The fire broke out Wednesday in northern San Diego County, much of which is occupied by Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. NBC San Diego reported that about 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate overnight in the base communities and in neighboring Fallbrook.

In an update posted just after 9 a.m. PT, Ryan Rushing, a division chief at the Camp Pendleton Fire Department, said the fire had burned over 3,000 acres was zero percent contained.

Rushing said the fire's quick development was "fueled by steep terrain, difficult access, and winds."

Another tweet said that the military camp's "Fallbrook gate is closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles."

Authorities had previously said around 7:30 a.m. PT that the Creek Fire was 35 percent contained.

The San Diego Sheriff shared a video on Twitter of one of nearly 40 helicopter water drops the department performed over the Creek Fire.

Early Thursday morning, Camp Pendleton ordered the evacuation of people located at its DeLuz Housing, Wounded Warrior Battalion and Lake O'Niel Campground.

Shortly after 11 a.m. Pacific Time the North County Fire Protection District tweeted that some evacuation orders for Fallbrook were downgraded from orders to warnings.

Response to the Creek Fire is being led by Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the Camp Pendleton Police Department.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Please check back again for updated news.