SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Firefighters are battling a wildfire at Camp Roberts that has scorched thousands of acres.
The "Range Fire" is burning on the northeast corner of the Army base across the county line in Monterey County along Highway 101.
Initial reports indicated the fire may have been started by live fire training at the Camp's northeastern firing range early Friday afternoon.
Flames spread quickly on hillsides filled with dry brush and grass and fanned by gusty winds in high heat and low humidity.
The fire spewed thick smoke and ash into the air along Highway 101 that was busy with Friday afternoon traffic.
"Looks like a pretty bad fire and it just makes we wonder how it got started, if someone was careless", said northern California resident Toni Bonde, "as you're driving through you see the flames, its pretty dramatic."
"This is kind of scary coming right to the road, makes it hard trying to get through town", said Ventura County resident Naomi Beadle, "what happened up there, or what spark, or what did start it?"
A similar fire last year at Camp Roberts burned 3,800 acres in what investigators determined was caused by a 60 mm mortar illumination round.
The hope is calmer winds and cooler overnight temperatures will help crews from Camp Roberts Fire Department and CalFire complete a containment line around the fire.
There have been no reports of any structures damaged by the fire or injuries on the fire lines.
"I think it might a long fire season", Toni Bonde said watching the fire from a nearby rest stop on Highway 101, "I hope not, but if this any indication, it could be a bad one."