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Crews battling Camp Pendleton fires that have burned over 7,000 acres

Fire crews were continuing to battle a pair of fires on Camp Pendleton early Wednesday morning that had charred more than 7,400 acres of brush, according to the Marine Corps base’s social media accounts.

The much larger of the two fires had burned about 7,000 acres of land as of 5 a.m., according to a tweet from base officials. A smaller blaze had burned another 400 or so acres.

“No threats to personnel on base or communities off base,” the base tweeted.

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Few details about the fires were immediately available, with the only updates coming via Twitter. But many users were expressing concern that the flames were spreading toward housing, and residents of surrounding San Diego County communities also reported heavy smoke and poor air quality from the fires on the base.

“I honestly appreciate the effort being put in to put out the fires, and I believe they are doing absolutely everything in their power to put them out, but they are getting closer to housing,” one Twitter user wrote to the Camp Pendleton account. “We need a real update please.”

Firefighters from Cal Fire San Diego and the Orange County Fire Authority were helping battle the blazes.

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Camp Pendleton officials first reported the large fire just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, tweeting that firefighters were monitoring a fire in the Zulu Impact Area, but that the fire did not pose danger on base or off. The tweet also noted that fire would be visible throughout Tuesday.

The fires are being driven by strong, dry Santa Ana winds, which are rare for June. Winds on Tuesday gusted to nearly 70 mph in San Diego County’s Cuyamaca Mountains and to 51 mph in the Alpine area, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures soared to 101 degrees at Santee and at San Pasqual Valley, not far from Julian, on Tuesday. Escondido reached 99 degrees while Montgomery Field hit 97 and San Diego reached 91. The relative humidity was in the 7% to 12% range across inland San Diego County.

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