Here's an article about the fire from the local paper.
Most Oceanside residents can return to the homes they were forced to flee from Monday after a fire of unknown origin erupted and tore through dry brush along the southeastern portion of this giant military base.
Although no word was available as of 6 a.m. as to how much of the 3,000-acre fire had been suppressed, Oceanside police Sgt. David Larson said most residents of Camp Pendleton's "back gate" area could return home. The exception, he said, was for residents of the Pilgrim Creek mobile home park, which is not yet open for the people to return.
The fire is back on base now, and our skies are blue again.
Yesterday evening the neighborhood came out into the street to watch the hills. My camera seemed to be unsure what to make of the smoke when it came time to focus, so I apologize for the less-than-ideal focus on these pictures (click on the pictures to enlarge).
This hill is on Camp Pendleton, about a mile and a half away. That little white thing on top of the hill on the right is an MP vehicle, and it stayed there for quite a while. We didn't worry as long as it stayed parked there, because the fire would have to burn its way down the front of that hill and through other neighborhoods before it got to us.
We watched the water-dropping planes fly in to make their drops. Much of the sky was blue, including right over us, because the smoke was being blown to the west by the Santa Ana winds, and the fire was to the north of us.
I think this is one of the Super-Soaker planes. The local news broadcast said that we were luckier than the people in last year's fires down in San Diego, because the Super-Soakers were able to drop their water, fly over to Oceanside Harbor to scoop up more water, and get back to the fire in just a three-minute round trip.
After a while, the MP car drove away and we saw flames on the ridgeline of the nearest hills. That's when I started packing up the important things into my car.
By the time it got dark, the planes had to stop flying, and the front of these hills were in flames, the smoke glowing orange well into the sky. I went to my friend's house, armed with my daughter's promise to call me if the evacuation order came.
It didn't, and when I drove up the street to come home, the sky was the black of a normal night. I unpacked my car and put things back where I got them and watched the news coverage for a while before going to bed for an uneventful sleep.