San Rafael firefighters wasted no time Thursday morning to extinguish a backyard fire that coincided with the start of a regional Red Flag warning for dangerous fire conditions.
The blaze, in the 200 block of Riviera Drive in San Rafael, started before 9 a.m.
A neighbor called 911 to report the blaze. The fire, in the backyard of a home, was spreading to a large pine tree and moving up a wooded slope.
The fire involved pool equipment, fencing and vegetation, according to San Rafael Fire Chief Chris Gray.
“Firefighters worked fast to quickly knock down the fire before it could spread to adjacent homes,” Gray said in an e-mail to Patch. “The fire is under investigation and appears to have been caused by equipment related to a backyard swimming pool.”
An electric swimming pool pump appeared to have overheated and sparked nearby pine needles and overgrown vegetation, Gray said.
The unoccupied house was for sale, but the pump was still operating to maintain the pool, Gray said.
The blaze caused an estimated $15,000 in damage to the pool equipment, fencing and vegetation.
Overgrown vegetation and combustible material contributed to the fire’s rapid spread, he said.
There were 12 firefighters who responded to the incident and no injuries were reported, according to Gray.
“Prompt calls to 9-1-1 and quick action by firefighters limited loss,” he said.
A “Red Flag” warning for hazardous fire conditions, which includes increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire, will continue through Saturday afternoon.
A note from Chief Gray:
“And remember…Fire is Everyone’s Fight “Be vigilant and prevention minded by removing vegetation and combustible materials around your home…promptly call 9-1-1 if you see smoke or fire…we are here to help.”