A fire that burned about a third of an acre of grass at 115 Farm Road in Woodside on Tuesday afternoon may have been started when a grass-mower blade struck a rock or piece of metal, creating a spark, firefighters said.
The fire, which started shortly after 1 p.m., was out about 16 minutes after it started, thanks in large part to a gardener immediately stopping his tractor mower and applying water from a garden hose, according to Battalion Chief Emil Picchi of the Woodside Fire Protection District.
“The gardener managed to extinguish the majority of it,” Mr. Picchi said. Fortunately, the area was flat and there was little to no wind, he added.
There were no injuries and no property damage, Mr. Picchi said. Firefighters used shovels and heavy duty rakes to cut a fire break to prevent the fire’s escape from the grass, he said.
The offices of the fire district are near by at 808 Portola Road in Portola Valley, so Chief Dan Ghiorso and Battalion Chief Rob Lindner were first on the scene, Mr. Picchi said.
The fire was visible to firefighters coming from the station on Woodside Road. “It was presenting a nice white column of smoke when I was coming down Whiskey Hill Road,” Mr. Picchi said.
White smoke is a reliable indicator that it’s a vegetation-only fire, he said.
Firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire assisted, adding up to 13 firefighters in all, Mr. Picchi said. They laid down a layer of foam on the area after the fire was out to prevent re-ignition, then left the scene about about 2:20 p.m., he said.
Any mowing done in August on the Peninsula should not be taking place after 10 a.m., after the morning dew has…
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