Shortly before sunset on June 12, San Jose Fire received reports of a fire on the hill near the 5300 block of Hellyer Ave. Being in a threat zone, Cal FIre was also notified. After the 5th phone call reporting the fire, Battalion 13 ordered a TIER response while initial units were still en route.
Upon arrival, it was discovered that the fire had spread to approximately one acre of grassland. However, the grass was dry and there was a breeze pushing the fire. With a rapid rate of spread, Hellyer IC called for a TIER 2 response. Meanwhile, Cal Fire was also sending a medium response.
On the TIER 2 dispatch, Fire Associates was paged out. John Whiteside responded with Fire Support Unit 3 while Bruce Dembecki and Bill Roth responded directly to the scene. Also on scene were Fire Associates guests Daniel Capostagno and Walter Huber.
As the fire grew, and a potential spread of several hundred acres on the hillside, Hellyer IC escalated the incident to a TIER 3.
Fire crews were able to contain the fire at around 12 acres and at about 2 hours into the incident the fire was under control. Citizens in the area reported that a mylar balloon drifted into the high voltage transmission wires overhead, and the flames from that dropped to the grass, causing the ignition.
Once crews were finished on the hillside, they stopped by at Rehab for a cold drink and some food before packing up and returning to service.
— Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki