Firefighters were busy last weekend as three fires, including one that burned seven acres in a rural part of Boulder Creek, struck the town last week.
Marijuana, illegal construction found at site of wildland fire
A rubbish pile on an illegal marijuana grow site was the origin of a seven-acre fire in northeast Boulder Creek on Saturday morning, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Rich Sampson.
The Aug. 4 wildland blaze, nicknamed the Las Cumbres Fire after the nearby Los Gatos community, was reported at 7:15 a.m. It was contained by 6 p.m. with support from air crews while more than 100 firefighters battled the rural blaze for hours down below.
“It was somebody’s debris pile — burning trash,” Sampson said. “It was on a vacant marijuana garden.”
No one was in sight when firefighters arrived at the supposedly vacant lot off Deer Creek and Lost Valley roads in Boulder Creek. They found an illegal marijuana garden and a house that was being constructed on the property without a permit, Sampson said.
The partially built structure was untouched by the fire, he said, but it appeared that as many as six people had recently left.
“The property owner said he doesn’t know anything,” Sampson said, noting that an investigation was ongoing to determine who lit the fire.
A strike team from local departments in the San Lorenzo Valley helped Cal Fire in its efforts to contain the flames. A water tender from Boulder Creek Fire carried water to the scene.
“It was initially called in as 10 acres, with the potential of 100 acres or so,” Sampson said.
Little wind and cool conditions kept the fire from spreading quickly, despite much undergrowth and brush.
Crews from Boulder Creek Fire Protection District provided water, and a strike team and crews from Zayante, Scotts Valley, Felton, Santa Clara County, Aptos-La Selva, Las Cumbres and Marin County fire departments helped contain the fire.
Logan Creek fire extinguished
A separate half-acre fire on Logan Creek Road near Kings Creek Road in Boulder Creek was reported at 4:25 p.m. Saturday and quickly contained by firefighters who were already working on the nearby Las Cumbres Fire. No structures were threatened.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Sampson said.
“We really lucked out that day,” said Chief Kevin McClish of Boulder Creek Fire. “Those fires would have taken off.”
House fire causes damage
A small fire burned a section of an unoccupied home on Brook Lane in Boulder Creek at 9:27 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3.
The fire started outside the house, either with faulty electrical wiring or a cigarette, McClish said, but crews worked quickly to save the house from fully burning. A section about 10 feet by 10 feet burned.
The owner lives next door and escaped without any injuries.
McClish noted that residents should be extra careful with fire of any kind. Open burning season for brush and debris is suspended during the summer months, and barbecues and fire pits should be watched carefully.
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