Country Fire burns at least 322 acres, forces evacuations in Milpitas

ByKatie Utehs KGO logo
Monday, July 23, 2018
Country Fire burns at least 322 acres, forces evacuations in Milpitas
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The Country Fire in Milpitas has prompted evacuations after burning at least 322 acres. The fire is 40 percent contained.

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters will be on scene overnight of a large grass fire in Milpitas that threatened homes Sunday. The Country Fire quickly grew to 322 acres. It's 40-percent contained. Firefighters expect higher humidity overnight to help them get the fire fully contained by morning.

Cal Fire painted the hillside pink with flame retardant as people who live in Milpitas' Summitpointe neighborhood kept a close eye on the flames.

"All of a sudden it just flames-up and it just travels really quickly up a hill," said Larry Hojer, Summitpointe resident.

The grass fire started in the area of Country Club Road and North Park Victoria Road around 1 p.m.

"The wind combined with the dry fuel and steep slope it burned very quickly up hill," said Capt. Bill Murphy, South Bay Incident Management Team.

Cal Fire deployed two helicopters and four air tankers. They pulled water from nearby Ed R. Levin Park.

"We've had a couple of fires up here before and they've been really good at getting up here fast," said Hojer.

The fire spread near Weller Road forcing evacuations.

"There were evacuations of a couple of ranch properties off of Weller Road. Again they are large ranch properties and they were advised to evacuate," said Capt. Murphy.

One structure was lost. Neighbors say the remote looking hillside is popular with hang gliders.

"There's a road that goes all the way up to the peak up there. That's where they hang glide off of up there," said Hojer.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.