SANTA CLARA – A small fire, which burned about 1/10 of an acre of brush in a Santa Clara neighborhood Sunday afternoon, was reportedly the result of an illegal burn. Local fire agencies extinguished the fire before it caught any structures, although it did burn within approximately 35 feet of a detached garage.
The fire was reported at approximately 3:20 p.m. in the backyard of a home on the 1200 North block of Old Farm Road in the City of Santa Clara. The fire began in an old irrigation ditch where the homeowner had burned some weeds the previous day, Santa Clara Fire Department Chief Dan Nelson said.
The homeowner told emergency personnel that he had extinguished the fire with water the previous day and that he had checked it Sunday morning and that there was no smoke Saturday night or Sunday morning. However, by Sunday afternoon, the fire had started again, Nelson said.
It is illegal to burn in Santa Clara as it is currently a closed burn season, Nelson said. This is potentially a citable offense, Nelson said. In this case, the illegal burn is currently under investigation and a decision will be made on the charge upon completion of the investigation.
Once firefighters from the Santa Clara Fire Department were on scene, the fire was quickly contained, Nelson said. A mutual aid brush truck from Ivins City came to assist, as well as a truck from the Forest Service which was in the area and offered their assistance, Nelson said. Because of the nearby dry fuels, the extra help from the brush trucks was accepted, Nelson said. The extra help arrived after the fire was contained and helped to fully extinguish the fire.
“We’re really grateful for the assistance from Ivins and the Forest Service,” Nelson said.
Before the fire was contained, it burned brush as well as the trunk of a large cottonwood tree in the back corner of the yard. The fire was on the edge of a field adjacent to the open desert, south of the suburbs of Santa Clara. Large branches from the cottonwood were removed, and the whole tree may potentially be cut down, Nelson said.
A Santa Clara EMS ambulance was also on scene as a precaution.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by the authorities at the scene and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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