No injuries were reported.
A three-engine version of the company's reusable Falcon 9 rocket was being tested when an "anomaly" was detected and the rocket self-destructed. SpaceX said the equipment was trained to do that when an anomaly is detected.
Several grass fires were started by falling debris, but it all remained within the designated testing area and none of the fires were serious.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk addressed the incident on Twitter, clarifying there were no injuries and calling rockets "tricky."
Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight. No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky ...— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2014
The Falcon 9 was designed to transport astronauts, satellites and spacecraft into orbit, and possibly fly the first commercial manned space missions.
The Falcon 9 rocket was used to launch the first commercial cargo vessel to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.