Dry weather possible factor in San Bruno Mountain fire

Bay Area

SAN MATEO COUNTY (KRON) – Billowing black smoke is something many are used to seeing in the summer and fall, but a blaze atop San Bruno Mountain broke out at on a warm Friday morning in February.

A two-alarm, half-acre fire is burning in San Bruno State and County Park, near the picnic area.

“I saw dark smoke it looked fierce,” Jerry Griego said. “So the closer I got, it felt it was like around my house.”

The fire was not burning towards homes, but it was moving fast in very dry grass and brush. Fire officials dispatched 60 firefighters and a helicopter to knock down the blaze. 

They held it to just six acres. They say low winds were helpful.

“If the winds were on it today, it would have been a different fire for sure,” Chief Jeff Huntze said.

As crews mopped up, investigators combed the scene for a cause. But fire officials point out a fire like this in February could be a sign of what’s to come.

“We desperately need the rain to bring fuel moistures up on this brush and grass,” Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said. “And if we don’t prepare for this, wildland fire season begins now.”

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. The park was open at the time the fire broke out.

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