By MATTHEW HOSE
A Heathcliff Drive resident accidentally set 1.5 acres of Tiburon open space ablaze last week when he tried to smoke out a nest of yellow jackets in a dry field.
The fire, which burned between the Heathcliff and Lyford fire roads in the Old St. Hilary's Open Space Preserve atop Tiburon Ridge, started just after 12:30 p.m. Oct. 11. No one was injured and no homes were damaged, though two homes were temporarily threatened.
Tiburon Fire Marshall Jessica Power said favorable winds blew the fire toward the Heathcliff Drive fire road, which acted as a natural barrier to prevent its spread.
That bit of luck, combined with a quick call from the resident who sparked the blaze and a rapid emergency response, enabled crews to set a line around the fire and contain it completely within about 30 minutes.
"This could've been much worse," Power said. "But based on several factors — the roads, the call and the immediate response — we were able to keep it to a small acreage number."
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