SANTA CLARA – The Santa Clara Fire Department responded to a controlled fire on Claude Drive that got out of hand due to windy conditions Thursday afternoon.
A controlled burn was being conducted on a lot next to the home at 702 Claude Drive around 3:30 p.m. Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said the property owner conducting the burn had acquired a permit and weather conditions were favorable for burning when he began.
However, due to sudden “erratic and gusty” winds, Nelson said the fire became unmanageable and the fire department was contacted around 3:45 p.m.
Fire crews arrived at the scene to deal with the blaze, part of which had crawled up the hillside by the lot where homes stood. However, due to there being no immediate fuel between the near-top of the hill and the home in the fire’s path, the flames began to spread to either side rather than directly for the home ahead of it.
“This is a good example of defensible space,” Nelson said. “Defensible space” refers to an area around a home – typically one that exists in a place where wilderness and urban habitation intersect – which is kept clear of debris and possible fuels that can feed an oncoming brush fire.
Nelson said this was the second runaway controlled burn the Santa Clara Fire Department has had to respond to within the last week.
The fire was contained in short order and no structures were harmed.
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