News


Foothills home engulfed by blaze on Fourth of July

Multi-agency response prevents spread of fire to open space

A fire engulfed a home in the foothills across from Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve Sunday (July 4), narrowly missing an outbreak into the surrounding wildlands. The fire broke out between noon and 1 p.m. The homeowner was at the scene, and no one appeared to have been injured.

Cal Fire, Palo Alto Fire Department, Midpeninsula Open Space District and the Santa Clara County Sheriff responded to the blaze in the 20300 block of Skyline Boulevard, Woodside.

A witness said he heard popping noises that sounded like firecrackers or bullets exploding inside the structure, but fire officials have not confirmed the report. No cause for the blaze has yet been reported.

Fire crews set up perimeter defenses at Russian Ridge and Monte Bello preserves and along Page Mill Road between Monte Bello and Foothills Park. They also closed part of Skyline Boulevard. A helicopter dumped water from a bucket and two fixed-wing aircraft dumped fire retardant on the blaze. Fire crews brought in a bulldozer to cut fire breaks.

Both lanes of Skyline Boulevard were reopened after being closed for more than four hours.

A Sig-alert was issued at 2:05 p.m. that closed both lanes. At around 4:10 p.m., the California Highway Patrol opened the southbound lane with one-way traffic control. The Sig-alert was lifted just after 6:35 p.m., according to a CHP dispatcher.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Good save by SMCo Fire, Cal Fire, Palo Alto Fire, and Midpen Rangers. 25 years ago today the Lexington fire broke out, and 25 years and 3 days was the Palo Alto/Los Altos Hills Liddicoat fire too. No repeats please.


Like this comment
Posted by Albert
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm

If the homeowner is found to have been responsible for this fire, he needs to be sent the bill.

This response also reinforces why a regional fire response organization to fight fires in the foothills.


Like this comment
Posted by what is a foothill?
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Maybe flatlanders like me are stupid. But why is the top of a ridge considered to be a foothill? Dictionary definition of foothill: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

"If the homeowner is found to have been responsible for this fire, he needs to be sent the bill."

+1


Like this comment
Posted by homeowner?
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Funny, Palo Alto Online says "the homeowner was at the scene", but the Mercury-News says "the house had been vacant for a lengthy period of time". Can both statements be true?
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

I'm the immediate neighbor of the property. We haven't really met the homeowner before, but he came down our driveway, told us his house was on fire, and asked us to call 911. My guess is that he doesn't live there, but was on scene at least after the fire started.

It was reassuring to see how many people and how much equipment could be brought to bear on this fire. I suspect I'll go the rest of my life without having fire retardant dropped on me (and part of my property) again.


Like this comment
Posted by another resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm

"We haven't really met the homeowner before, but he came down our driveway, told us his house was on fire, and asked us to call 911. My guess is that he doesn't live there, but was on scene at least after the fire started."

Doesn't this sound suspicious?


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

There are many things in the average home that explode when heated.


Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

It was San Mateo County Sheriffs Office not Santa Clara SO. Also, if you find yourself in a situation near a wildfire, leave the area immediately. No person alive can out-run a rolling grass fire. Follow the directions of official personnel and evacuate as directed. This might save your life and that of others.


Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

It was San Mateo County Sheriffs Office not Santa Clara SO. Also, if you find yourself in a situation near a wildfire, leave the area immediately. No person alive can out-run a rolling grass fire. Follow the directions of official personnel and evacuate as directed. This might save your life and that of others.


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