Vegetation Fire in San Rafael May Have Been Sparked by Illegal Camp

Photo courtesy: San Rafael Fire Department.
Photo courtesy: San Rafael Fire Department.
Campers may be to blame for a vegetation fire in San Rafael this weekend, according to fire officials. 

The fire, which broke out above Spring Grove around 4 a.m. Sunday, burned about a half acre before crews got a handle on it, according to San Rafael Fire Chief Christopher Gray.

According to Gray, the fire was discovered after local police helped them establish the exact location and best point of access.

"Despite difficult conditions, firefighters found a fire burning in a steep, heavily wooded area off of the fireroad at the end of Spring Grove Avenue," he said.   "Due to a structure fire already in progress in San Rafael, fire units from Marinwood, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Ross Valley and Marin County provided assistance to San Rafael Firefighters on-scene."

Gray credited "aggressive work by our firefighters" with stopping the forward spread of the fire.  

Though its exact cause is under investigation, campers may be to blame.

"Evidence of camping materials were found in the area," he said.  "As an important safety reminder, camping is not allowed in Open Space areas within San Rafael and threatens the community."

RELATED:  Click here to see more photos from the scene of the fire.

Michael May 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM
good work. Smelled smoke in the air early Sunday morning without visual of smoke and this must have been it. Glad they got it. I hope the police are regularly driving by these know areas where people are camping. Early evening is the best as this is when they gather to camp for the evening. Behind Gerstl Park in SR is another notorious area where people camp. I know people gotta live but this is the unfortunate part of camping where campers are not supposed to be. Conditions (fire) will only get worse as the summer continues to dry everything out. Clear the defensible area around your homes!


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