Coombsville Fire was Sparked by Mower, CalFire Says

The blade of a grass mower apparently sparked the fire that burned 31 acres and threatened 30 homes last Tuesday, a CalFire official tells the Napa Valley Register.


The fast-moving grass fire that threatened 30 homes and torched 31 acres east of Napa last Tuesday was apparently touched off by the blade of a mower being used by a resident to cut grass, CalFire Assistant Chief Dave Shew has told the .

The fire in the 1400 block of Coombsville Road was reported at 1:52 p.m. and was contained by firefighters by 3 p.m., according to CalFire Battalion Chief Pete Munoa.

Munoa said no structures were damaged during the fire and that no evacuations were necessary.

The grass fire was in a residential neighborhood with many single-family homes located on large parcels of land, Munoa said.

The blaze was moving toward Napa's Alta Heights neighborhood, where evacuations were considered but not carried out.

Ninety firefighters from Cal Fire, Napa County and the Napa Fire Department utilized 13 fire engines, two hand crews, two bulldozers, an air tanker and a helicopter, Munoa said.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

For all the latest Napa fire coverage, please see our Fire Watch topic page at napa.patch.com/topics/Fire-Watch.

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Unfiltered Steve Simoneau June 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
The irony here has me rolling my eyes. I'm sure the resident was mowing because the fire danger was high and Napa County was threatening to fine property owners with overgrown brush.
chuck2251 June 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM
we need to invest in more fire fighting equipment and get out of other countries to pay for it ..
Louisa Hufstader June 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Steve's likely right that the mower was trying to clear his or her defensible space; but the timing was terrible. A reader just made this observation via email: "Usually it's recommended to mow first thing in the morning when the dew and cool temperatures prevent fire from sparks. What's the deal here?" In answer I'd say it sounds like somebody didn't get the message, though fire authorities do often tell us that the heat of the day in dry weather is absolutely the worst time to mow, work with metal, go plinking or park your car in the rough.


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