3-alarm brush fire on San Bruno Mountain rings bell for potentially early fire season

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A three alarm fire on San Bruno Mountain Friday morning was an alarm bell for a potentially very early fire season.

"That stuff that burns up there, it's called gorse and it really goes up. It goes up like a canon," exclaimed Daly City resident Richard Hartle.

Fire officials never ordered evacuations, but Hartle, who lives on a hillside on Alta Vista Way, was concerned the fire was going to spread down the back of the mountain towards his neighborhood and house.

"All those eucalyptus up there, I thought if they catch fire, that's going to come over the hill and that's right here," Hartle said.

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"This really is a testament to where we're at with our fuel moisture and the lack of rain that we've seen over the last two months," said Calfire deputy chief, Jonathan Cox, who responded to the fire and emphasized how unusual and concerning it was to see a fire this early in the year - in February.

"We're starting to get roadside spots on a daily basis, small spots, this is one of the more significant fires we've seen in the Bay Area to date this year," Deputy Cox said. "And unless we get rain over the next two, three, six weeks, we're going to see conditions like this continue," he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The park was open at the time, but it's unclear who if anyone was in this area when the fire started.

Fire crews will be on scene overnight to make sure hot spots don't reignite.
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