This story has been updated.
Multiple fire departments and the Texas A&M Forest Service worked to contain a brush fire that nearly doubled in size overnight in a demolition range area at Joint Base San Antonio’s Camp Bullis.
The fire began Saturday. At about 2:30 p.m., the Texas A&M Forest Service announced it was responding to a 1,500-acre fire. Fire departments across Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) and those of Leon Creek, Bulverde and Shavano Park have since been helping to fight the blaze with the help of additional support from other partners surrounding the area.
JBSA previously reported Sunday that, as of 8:45 a.m., more than 4,000 acres had been burned. An updated press release Sunday afternoon corrected initial estimates, stating that more accurate GPS mapping showed that 2,800 acres have been burned. The fire was 50% contained and evacuation orders in surrounding communities were being lifted, according to a Sunday afternoon update.
JBSA said high winds expected Sunday were expected to hinder containment efforts. Fire crews were continuing to work to contain the impacted area with support from aerial water drops. Citing the Texas A&M Forest Service, JBSA said crews conducted a “tactical firing operation” overnight to remove vegetation between containment lines and the fire’s edge.
The release said officials hope to stop the fire from spreading east toward Blanco Road and neighborhoods in the area.
Todd Kurz of Richmond, Virginia, joined people lined up on Blanco Road to watch the fire’s smoke from their cars. He is visiting his parents, who live nearby.
“It’s very dry down here and it’s windy. It’s really tough to put this one out,” said Kurz.
His mother, Kathy Kurz, said she had never seen anything similar in the area.
“It’s scary. I choke up,” she said. “Pray.”
Camp Bullis is 27,000 acres of wildlands, ranges and training areas for service personnel. JBSA personnel who train at the site had been temporarily relocated. No injuries had been reported, and buildings previously occupied had not been damaged, according to JBSA.
The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.