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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Wildland fire Preparedness – Week 3: Base-wide evacuation procedures and pre-evacuation tips

By Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Public Affairs | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 21, 2020


Fire season is approaching and residents aboard base should know evacuation procedures and prepare themselves to mitigate risk in case of a wildland fire.

Camp Pendleton firefighters extinguish approximately 101 wildland fires on base annually. More than 6,743 acres of land burned last year in 2019, according to Robert Johnson, Deputy Chief for Fire Prevention at Camp Pendleton’s Security & Emergency Services Station.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

During May last year, a wildland fire broke out at the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station, resulting in the residents of the De Luz and O’Neill Housing Areas being evacuated to the Paige Fieldhouse.

Residents received evacuation information from the Emergency Operation Center, said Johnson. Provost Marshal’s Office military police were at the base housing areas to guide people and let people them know that they needed to be evacuated. In addition, the “Giant Voice”, a system of speakers on base also informed residents of the evacuation plan.

The EOC is also in charge of coordinating an evacuation plan for students on and off-base depending on the situation, said Johnson. PMO normally provides sentry and direction to incoming personnel to make sure roads are not crowded and that emergency vehicles can go to and from housing areas.

Pre-Evacuation Checklist and Evacuation Tips

Here is a pre-evacuation checklist from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s website at http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/Evacuation.pdf

• Critical medications

• Important personal papers, photos, etc.

• Essential valuables.

• Pet and livestock transport, limited amount of pet food

• Change of clothing, toiletries, etc.

• Cell phone

• Critical papers and effects in a fire proof safe

• An Evacuation Route Map with at least two routes (in this case to a possible Emergency Evacuation Center like the Paige Fieldhouse)

• Drive your planned route of escape before an actual emergency.

Remember these evacuation tips in the event of an actual emergency:

• Locate your Evacuation Checklist and assemble the items on it. Place the items in your vehicle.

• Park your vehicle facing outward and carry your car keys with you.

• Locate your pets and keep nearby.

• Prepare farm animals for transport.

• Place a ladder outside for roof access.

• Place connected garden hoses and buckets full of water around the house.

• Assemble fire fighting tools near an outside door (shovel, rake, hoe, etc.).

• Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.

• Cover up. Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton clothing preferable.

• Leave lights on in the house - door unlocked.

• Leave windows closed - air conditioning off.

To learn out more about how to prevent wildland fires and decrease their risk of spreading, please visit the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection at http://www.fire.ca.gov/