Another small fire in the same area as one that worried Cambrians more than a week ago spewed smoke into the air at midafternoon Monday.
As was the case with the so-called Bridge Fire of July 24, Cal Fire crews arrived quickly and were able to halt the fire in short order. By 4:30 p.m., on-scene fire inspector Clint Bullard reported that “the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.”
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Eric Shalhoob said Tuesday afternoon that the fire was halted at a half-acre.
Shalhoob said a “hidden fire” had been burning up high in a tree since the July 24 blaze, which had been ignited by a lightning storm. The treetop fire, Shalhoob said, eventually caused the upper part of the tree to fall across the established control line and ignite wood on the ground, starting the new fire.
As white smoke billowed from beyond the hill north of the campus Monday, fire trucks and crews made their way up the hill with aerial support from a lookout plane and a helicopter making water drops.
Clyde Warren said Cal Fire used seven loads of water from his reservoir in fighting the fire, which took hold at a time when some strong winds were reported in the area. According to Weather Underground (www.wunder ground.com), winds were gusting from the west at 31 mph at Decker Ranch south of Cambrian and to 23 mph in the more sheltered Ascot Court area, behind Cambria Fire Department’s station on Burton Drive.
Bullard said crews were able to “get a good line around it from the air” and give ground crews a chance to attack the fire, which he described as having started in “steep, hilly terrain.”
Altogether, three trucks went up the hill and three more were on standby at the staging area before they started to be called off shortly before 5 p.m. Bullard gave the location as 3000 Santa Rosa Creek Road.