Camp Pendleton sign
Camp Pendleton gate. File photo

A wildfire blackened swaths of brushy land on the grounds of Camp Pendleton Wednesday, sending clouds of dark smoke over northern San Diego County and prompting evacuations of some facilities on the military base.

The blaze began spreading out of control toward the eastern side of the Marine Corps installation about 2:30 p.m., fire officials said.

As of shortly before 4 p.m., the burn zone had grown to about 1,000 acres, according to the base’s public-affairs office.

Authorities cleared people out of various areas on the installation, including Lake O’Neill Campground, as a precaution.

Fire crews had been setting and monitoring brush-clearing controlled burns on the base this week, but it was not immediately clear if that activity was related to the wildfire.