ATASCADERO — Open fields and backyards of several homes on the 10000 block of San Marcos Road were threatened by a rapidly moving grass fire on Saturday, June 1, according to the Atascadero Fire Department.
At approximately 2 p.m. on June 1, several units were dispatched including 28 firefighters, four engines and two command vehicles from Atascadero fire, an air attack, four engines, a water tender, dozer and a command vehicle from Cal Fire, one engine from Templeton, an engine and two command vehicles from Paso Robles, one engine from Atascadero State Hospital and two Atascadero Police Department units.
First arriving engines found approximately two acres of grass burning at a rapid rate of spread, behind several homes. According to fire officials, engines were positioned along San Marcos Road to provide structure defense and to contain the fire. Fire crews stopped the forward progress of the fire and saved three homes in the path of the fire.
Crews encountered heavy smoke conditions which severely limited visibility and made it difficult to fight the fire. Strong winds added to the rapid spread of the fire. Fortunately, the fire was burning in grass recently mowed.
It took fire crews approximately one hour to contain the fire with crews remaining at the scene for an additional three hours to mop up. There were no injuries to emergency personnel or to the public and through the efforts of the firefighters and first responders an estimated $2 million in property value was saved.
The cause of the fire was determined to have been a rock struck by a lawn mower blade which ignited the grass.