News

Fires force Dish closure through July 15

Stanford University announced today that the Dish area will remain closed to visitors through at least July 15 in the aftermath of a pair of campus grass fires in the last two weeks.

University officials had closed the Dish area, which is popular with hikers, through Sunday after a June 25 blaze burned more than 125 acres.

Officials are still investigating the exact cause of that fire. Palo Alto Fire Marshal Dan Firth determined that it was "likely caused by human activity."

The university also needs additional time to expand the firebreaks in the area and take other measures to prevent another grass fire from igniting.

On Thursday, a 20-acre grass fire shut down Junipero Serra Boulevard and caused officials to shut off power to more than 2,000 homes. Officials have not yet identified a cause.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by Suspicious, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Prediction: The Dish area stays closed throughout the remainder of 2007. While they have not yet determined what the cause was of either fire (though arson has been suggested by several officials for the first), they need more time to 'prevent another grass fire from igniting'.




Posted by Fred, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2007 at 5:40 pm

Suspicious, what exactly are you suspicious of? While the above post seems merely cynical and sarcastic, I believe you also posted on another thread that Stanford may have itself started the second fire (or perhaps you meant both fires) to achieve development goals. (You also suggested that a Fire Dept employee may have set it!)

It struck me that I would very much hate to have someone accuse me of that (I believe committing such an act would be a crime), as I am sure you would.

Imagine if they re-opened the facility today, there were a fire tomorrow, and a PA resident was killed. Then it was revealed that firebreaks were insufficient, and some safety manager had written an internal memo to that effect, and the General Counsel had warned the appropriate person not to re-open. In addition to the human tragedy, big lawsuit, very bad press.

So I am sure that Stanford guards and pursues its own interests - no doubt, so do we all. But I do show them some deference in how they handle the Foothills catching on fire. And I certainly hope we all think twice before accusing key institutions in our community, like Stanford and our PAFD, of crimes without some sort of evidence.

My two cents,
Fred


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