Originally published July 13, 2010 at 2:24 p.m., updated July 13, 2010 at 4:04 p.m.
Military training exercises sparked a brush fire that blackened hundreds of acres at Camp Pendleton today, sending heavy smoke over northern San Diego County but causing no structural damage or injuries.
The blaze erupted about 9:30 a.m. in Aliso Canyon, near the center of the Marine Corps station, said USMC Sgt. Darhonda Rodela of the base's public affairs office.
By 3 p.m., the fire had scorched more than 500 acres, Rodela said. No buildings were in immediate danger from the fire, though the Camp Margarita area of Camp Pendleton was potentially in the path of the flames.
Base officials closed Basilone Road between Roblar and Las Pulgas roads as a precaution.
Helping Camp Pendleton firefighters work to contain the blaze were crews from the U.S. Forest Service and personnel aboard three helicopters from other outside agencies.