Firefighters Still Battling Wildfire That Has Consumed 3,000 Acres on Texas Base

U.S. Air Force fire truck responds to a wildfire at Joint Base San Antonio.
A U.S. Air Force fire truck responds to a large wildfire Apr. 9, 2022 at Joint Base San Antonio - Camp Bullis demolition range area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Brian Boisvert)

A wildfire at Joint Base San Antonio's Camp Bullis that ravaged nearly 3,000 acres of the installation's training area over the weekend had been 50% contained as of Sunday, according to a base press release.

No injuries or damage to occupied buildings has been reported, and evacuations for the surrounding community were lifted Sunday after 150 households had been told to leave their homes the day before.

The cause of the brush fire -- known as the Training Area 23 fire -- at JBSA, which includes Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base, is under investigation.

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    The blaze began at roughly 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the installation's demolition range within Camp Bullis, which consists of more than 27,000 acres of training areas and wildlands in northern San Antonio.

    Approximately 85 firefighters are on the ground battling the flames, JBSA deputy fire chief Scott Ridenour said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

    Fire departments from JBSA and the surrounding community, including the cities of Leon Springs, Bulverde and Shavano Park, are still actively working to contain the fire.

    A photo of the fire perimeter shared by the Bexar County, Texas, Facebook page illustrates the scale of the blaze.

    But the Training Area 23 fire is not the only blaze to impact a military base in the Lone Star State this year. The Crittenberg Complex fire burned more than 33,000 acres near the Army's Fort Hood at the end of March into early April.

    "The potential for large, significant wildfires across West Texas and South Texas will remain through early May," Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service fire chief, said in a press release.

    Above normal temperatures, high wind speeds and low humidity in the area likely contributed to the critical fire weather, the statement continued.

    Some San Antonio residents asked Bexar County on Facebook whether donations for responders were needed, but officials said that personnel have all the supplies they need at this time.

    Although no individual event can be attributed to climate change, scientists warn that wildfires will become more prevalent in the region as the frequency of drought increases with dry vegetation acting as kindling to flames.

    -- Jonathan Lehrfeld is a fellow at Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media.

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