By CBSLA Staff

CAMP PENDLETON (CBSLA) – A large brush fire erupted Thursday morning amid powerful Santa Ana winds near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego County, forcing thousands of people to flee.

A brush fire burns near Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego County. Dec. 24, 2020. (CAL Fire)

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The Creek Fire broke out sometime before midnight Wednesday in the area of De Luz Road and Harris Trail, just north of the community of Fallbrook.

According to CAL Fire, the blaze then spread southwest onto Camp Pendleton’s land.

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As of Thursday evning, the fire had burned 3,000 acres with 35% containment, according to Camp Pendleton.

At the height of the blaze, about 7,000 residents on the west side of Fallbrook were under mandatory evacuations. But by 6:11 p.m., all evacuation orders had been canceled and residents were able to return home.

There was no word on a cause. It’s unclear if any structures have been damaged or destroyed.

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Most of Southern California is under a red flag warning which expires at noon Thursday due to strong Santa Ana winds, coupled with low humidity and dry conditions.