The fire was reported at about 12:20 p.m. in the rolling hills east of Highway 101 near Baily Avenue and Malech Road, San Jose fire Capt. Chuck Rangel said.
The blaze was controlled at about 2:15 p.m., Rangel said.
Nearby power lines complicated firefighting efforts, Rangel said.
"You don't want to put retardants on there because they're very conductive" and add to the danger, he said.
The fire was initially described as burning 25 acres, but the estimate dropped to 16 once crews performed a more thorough assessment, Rangel said.
No injuries were reported. One structure was briefly, he said.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, he said.