Weed Abatement Sparks 33 Acre Grass Fire in Blackhawk

Firefighters battled a fast-moving grass fire near the Blackhawk Country Club Golf Course Friday afternoon.

Firefighters battled a fast-moving grass fire near the Blackhawk Country Club Golf Course Friday.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, fire crews from the San Ramon Valley Fire District were dispatched to a report of a fast-moving grass fire on the 3500 block of Blackhawk Drive. According to Fire Chief Paige Meyer, firefighters moved quickly to respond from another structure fire on Ladera Courte, which had been declared under control just before crews were dispatched to the grass fire.

Meyer says arriving firefighters found the fire quickly moving up a nearby hillside and immediately began maneuvering to protect nearby structures and aggressively attack the fire. Firefighters also utilized resources from Alameda County and Cal Fire to fight the blaze. Airplanes and a helicopter were seen battling the fire from the air by dropping fire retardant and water on the fire to assist ground crews.

Golfers adjacent to the fire on the ninth hole of the Blackhawk Falls Golf Course could be seen playing amidst emergency vehicles, despite the raging grass fire, giving new meaning to the term “play where it lies.” Golf course officials eventually shut down the ninth hole, preventing further play.

Two hours after the fire department was called to the scene, the was declared under control. In total, the fire burned approximately 33 acres with no reported injuries.

Fire officials have concluded that the fire was sparked by maintenance crews operating weed eating or lawn mowing equipment that created a spark, causing nearby vegetation to catch fire. Meyer says once the fire was started, it quickly spread and swiftly ran up a hillside behind homes on Blackhawk Dr.

Chief Meyer reminds residents that weed/ lawn trimming equipment can be hazardous to operate, especially in the hottest part of the day and in windy conditions. He says that it is best to operate weed-eating or mowing equipment with a method of suppression nearby (fire extinguisher or water) and in the morning when temperatures are cooler.

A video captured at the scene of the fire is attached below:

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A Cal Fire helicopter refills with water in the Blackhawk Falls #9 pond
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A Cal Fire tanker drops fire retardant near Pheasant Run Dr
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