SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — A wind-whipped wildfire raced up a San Rafael hillside Saturday afternoon, triggering a shelter-in-place order for local residents and an airborne battle to slow the flames.
Authorities said the fire was reported at 3:24 p.m. in Boyd Memorial Park near Mission and C Street. The smoke and flames could be seen from nearby Highway 101 and also from downtown San Rafael.
“The fire started off pretty slow then it hit some light flashy fuel and went into the heavy brush,” said Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Rowan. “It jumped the fire road and it was off and running.”
A shelter-in-place order was issued for residents living around Tampa Dr. and Graceland Dr.
“I was hosing down our house, trying to get any dry areas wet,” said local resident Addis Sagates. “Anything we thought could spark.”
The flames charred a little more than 11 acres and advanced up a hill toward a communication tower used by Marin County emergency response agencies. Winds in the area were reportedly gusting to 20 mph.
After four hours of fighting the fire, the flames and smoke had diminished. Fire officials lifted the shelter in place order and said the blaze had been contained.
There were 90 firefighters deployed to fight the blaze and aircraft from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection were dumping retardant on the flames.
A cause of the fire was still under investigation.