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Crews battle 5,000-acre fire at Camp Roberts shooting range

Crews were fighting a 5,000-acre grass fire at a shooting range at Camp Roberts.
Crews were fighting a 5,000-acre grass fire at a shooting range at Camp Roberts. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Update 10 p.m.

Cal Fire reported the fire grew to 5,000 acres and was 60 percent contained late Friday evening.

Original story

A fire likely sparked by a training exercise at a Camp Roberts rifle range has burned 500 acres and is making for smoky driving on nearby Highway 101.

Cal Fire reported the fire in a tweet about 2:15 p.m., and a dispatcher said it was about 30 percent contained. Motorists driving in the area should use caution, as smoke can be seen from the roadway, Cal Fire said.

Capt. Jason Sweeney, a Camp Roberts spokesman, said the fire started on the range in the northeast corner of the base, near Highway 101 and a rest stop. Troops training in the area were firing rifles, which probably caused the fire, he said.

The base had been set to conduct a controlled burn Thursday on the range where the fire started, to prevent just such incidents, Sweeney said. No injuries or structural damage were reported.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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