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.