UPDATE: Camp Roberts brush fire now in 'mop-up' mode

May 18, 2016

UPDATE: Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

The Comander of Camp Roberts says crews are mostly in the mop-up stage of controlling a roughly 3500 acre fire on installation grounds.

Colonel Nicole Balliet told KCBX the brush fire started Wednesday afternoon from a 60 mm mortar illumination round. Strong winds in the area kicked up the flames quickly. 

Camp Roberts consists of approximately 43,000 acres of highly-flammable Central Coast terrain. Colonel Balliet said because of the nature of training exercises at the facility, control burns are done annually to keep fires from getting out of control.

"So we do that every year in our impact area, which is where the rounds from our weapons systems land," said Balliet. "We go in to do a control burn to get rid of that, essentially fuel, so that those fires don't happen."

While Camp Roberts has its own 24-7 fire service, several surrounding agencies including Cal Fire San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County Fire and the U.S. Forest Service helped get this one under control.


San Luis Obispo County CAL FIRE was helping crews at Camp Roberts get a handle on a 1500 brush fire. 

As of Wednesday night, there was no estimated time for containment.

CAL FIRE was helping the National Guard Wednesday with fire-fighting resources including aircraft, fire engines and bulldozers.  The US Forest Service was also providing aviation assistance.

The fire started Wednesday and was kicked-up quickly by strong winds. People living in—or traveling through—northern San Luis Obispo County could see and smell the smoke.

Camp Roberts sits on the San Luis Obispo and Monterey County line along Highway 101.