Brush fire at JBSA-Camp Bullis at 50% containment; evacuations lifted, officials say

The fire currently spans 2,800 acres, according to fire officials.

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This story is no longer being updated. Read the latest on the Camp Bullis fire here.

A massive brush fire in the demolition range area on JBSA-Camp Bullis is now at 50% containment, spanning 2,800 acres, according to Joint Base San Antonio fire officials.

As of around 4 p.m. Sunday, voluntary evacuation orders for residents north of Camp Bullis in Comal County have been lifted. Fire officials said an estimated 150 residents were told to voluntarily evacuate Saturday if they felt the need, though it’s unknown how many left their homes and sought shelter at Spring Branch Middle School.

Residents are urged to monitor fire updates from their local fire departments on social media, as the situation is still fluid, according to JBSA fire officials. No future evacuations are expected.

There are no injuries and no occupied buildings or structures that have been damaged by the flames. Active servicemembers on site have been moved to safe locations as fire response efforts continue.

Earlier reports from JBSA indicated the fire spanned 4,000 acres early Sunday morning; however, this has been corrected with accurate GPS mapping.

According to Texas A&M Forest Service, fire crews conducted a tactical firing operation overnight to remove unburned vegetation between containment lines and the fire’s edge in an effort to help secure the lines.

The fire began around 2:30 p.m., Saturday, after it ignited on a training range. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and further information is expected to be released in the next few weeks.

An estimated 80 firefighters are still working the fire Sunday and are utilizing air support to drop water and contain the fire in affected areas. Firefighting efforts will continue for the next 24 to 48 hours, according to JBSA fire officials.

JBSA’s fire departments from Camp Bullis, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland, Randolph, San Antonio Fire Department, a Leon Creek fire department and others are all responding to the call.

Windy conditions and Red Flag alerts have contributed to the strength of the brush fire.

“We’re at the mercy of the weather... and the patterns that go with it,” said JBSA Deputy Chief Scott Ridenour during a news conference. “You’re gonna see smoke for the next several days...”

This is a developing story and we’ll bring more updates as they become available.

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About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.