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Mortar round sparked 3,000-acre fire at Camp Roberts

A mortar round was the cause of a North County blaze that burned thousands of acres of vegetation Wednesday and Thursday.

The fire began around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Camp Roberts, a California National Guard base about five miles west of San Miguel, and initially burned about 500 acres of land, according to Cal Fire and Suzie Thomas, a Camp Roberts spokeswoman.

The blaze was caused by a 60 mm mortar round that was being used in a training exercise, Thomas said. The fire burned at least 3,000 acres before crews were able to contain it.

Cal Fire and Camp Roberts Fire responders battled the blaze using air and ground crews. The fire grew to 1,500 acres and then doubled as firefighters continued to fight the flames.

Additional crews from the San Miguel Fire Department, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Cal Fire’s Monterey County unit helped contain the fire.

The fire was thought to have remained on the base, although Cal Fire crews attempted on Thursday to determine if flames had spread to any other areas.

No structures were thought to have been damaged and no injuries were reported, according to Cal Fire.

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