Firefighting efforts continue overnight to extinguish South Bay grass fire affecting homeless encampments

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A grass fire in San Jose that sparked on Tuesday afternoon at around 4:00 p.m. is currently under the monitoring of firefighters.

It presently moves on North San Jose and Milpitas, emitting smoke that could be seen across the south bay area Tuesday evening as it is burning nearly 25 acres.

Firefighters will continue efforts overnight for the fire to remain under control and make sure that it will not spread further.

“Currently we have containment lines drawn as Tasman, Donohue, North McCarthy, and also in San Jose. Our estimation right now is 25 acres but that could change,” said Battalion Chief Galahad Zamora.

Crews said that the conditions and the location of the fire make it hard for them to access.

“Heavy dry brush, large vegetation, access and then cross jurisdictional lines because this creek borders both Milpitas and San Jose so gaining access to the fire and water supply is limited,” the chief said., adding that the winds have aided to prevent the fire to threaten residential areas close to Mill River Lane where the fire was initially reported.

But the blaze was able to reach several homeless encampments around the area.

“Cause of the fire is underdetermined but yes there are multiple homeless encampments within the area and they are currently displaced. We are working with San Jose Fire and city services to see where we could provide them support and get them relocated,” according to Zamora.

The chief noted that putting out the fire completely would take longer than the normal period as water resources are scarce.

“We’re all stretched pretty thin so we have multiple units working the Dixie and the Tamarack Fire. I just got back from the River Fire as of Friday and called back into work Monday so we’re doing the best we can with what we have and it’s just going to be doing more with less which we’re okay with but we just know it’s going to be an extended operation,” he said, as reported by KRON4.

The fire would probably be extinguished sometime tomorrow, firefighters said.