Breaking News: Six-alarm fire in San Mateo County results in evacuations and power outages


Entering Edgewood Park / kqedquest / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

A photographer captures a view of Edgewood Park before the damage caused by the recent fire.

Residents experienced power outages and evacuated their homes after firefighters responded to at least two fires in San Mateo County (SMC) at 2:24 p.m. on Tuesday.

Around 8:15 p.m., evacuation orders and warnings were lifted. The power outage continued to affect many nearby areas. A 6:30 a.m. update the next day stated that the fire was 20% contained and at 20 acres.

Multiple 911 calls on Tuesday afternoon alerted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) of two fire incidents, the Colton Fire and the Edgewood Fire, in the Emerald Hills neighborhood. By 4 p.m., Cal Fire tweeted that the Colton Fire was contained. Meanwhile, the Edgewood Fire continued to burn.

“We have about 28 acres burning right now. We have structures threatened and mandatory evacuations in certain areas around Maple Street,” said Battalion Chief Ethan Peterson at 4:55 p.m. “If we can hold it at 20 acres, then we’ll be looking good.”

According to an update on Twitter, officials called for a six-alarm fire in SMC, meaning they had resources from South San Francisco down to Palo Alto to fight the fire. A Large Air Tanker (LAT), six tankers, three helicopters, and a lead plane were present, with many of the aircraft responsible for dropping retardant.

During this time, Stanford University experienced a power outage and reported that one of the main PG&E transmission lines was down. The College of San Mateo (CSM) also canceled face-to-face classes and closed offices due to a campus-wide power outage.

By around 8:50 p.m., the fire was 5% contained and at 20 acres.

According to a 10:30 p.m. update on Cal Fire’s Facebook page, the fire mainly burned through grass, brush, and oak. It had a slow to moderate rate of spread and active runs uphill. The announcement also detailed plans for the night and the next day.

Temperatures had reached a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, adding further challenges for those working at the scene. Four firefighters suffered minor injuries while containing the fires.

Last night, units from the SMC Sheriff’s Office, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and fire crews remained in the area throughout the evening to ensure everyone’s safety. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is a breaking news story. The article will be updated with more information.