GILROY (CBS SF) — Hundreds of residents on the west side of Gilroy are prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice as a 100-acre vegetation fire continues to burn.

CalFire says 200 are battling the blaze but firefighters say the terrain is too steep and rocky to allow bulldozers in to cut containment lines so they’re having to do it by hand.

The Ballybunion Fire was 10 percent contained Monday evening, officials said.

According to Cal Fire spokeswoman Pam Pemmermand, as of 8 p.m., no structures had been burned and there were no new injuries.

ballybunionmap Crews Set Containment Lines To Protect Gilroy Homes From Ballybunion Fire
The blaze started at around 7 p.m. Sunday evening above Ballybunion Court. A resident of the neighborhood told KPIX he saw three boys running into the hills and then heard the sound of fireworks.

“Then next thing I knew, I saw smoke over the hill and the fire started,” Ed Ritters said.

Cal Fire crews have established a containment line and have air support to keep the fire from spreading to near-by structures. Fire crews are also staged near homes in case the fire flares up.

Fire commanders are carefully monitoring weather and winds, police said.

The walking path through the Ranch side of Christmas Hill Park to Solorsano Middle School is closed to all foot traffic to secure the park for the base camp, according to police.

Parents and students of Solorsano Middle School should make alternate arrangements for travel to and from school starting Tuesday, as all access from the Ranch side of Christmas Hill Park will be closed, police said. No pickups or drop-offs will be allowed in or near the park, police said.

Alternate arrangements will also need to be made for students who use the path on the Ranch side of the park to walk to school, as this path is also closed, according to police.

Air quality in Gilroy is “very poor” because of the fire, police said. Residents are recommended to stay inside with doors and windows closed.

While expressing appreciation for donations offered by residents, police said no donations are needed at this time. They asked that donations not be brought to the fire stations.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed


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