San Jose firefighters successfully battled several brush fires along Interstate 280 near downtown, slowing startled afternoon commuters along the busy route.
The blazes were each under control in less than two hours. and firefighters cleared the scenes an hour later. No injuries were reported.
The fires near the 280 freeway south of Meridian Avenue didn’t threaten any structures but destroyed one car, fire officials said this evening.
Fire officials Wednesday evening were still investigating what might have caused the series of fires, one reported around noon and a second reported about 4pm.
Earlier in the day, firefighters responded to a brush fire about noon at Interstate Highway 680 and McKee Road.
San Jose firefighters responded to the vegetation fire around noon in the cloverleaf at McKee Road and Interstate Highway 680.
The fire, which officials considered relatively small, impacted traffic, nonetheless closed southbound lanes of Highway 680 to the McKee Road off-ramp for one to two hours before the blaze was contained around 2pm.
San Jose fire spokesperson Erica Ray said while there is no official cause, the fire could have started through various means.
“It could be like a metal chain from the vehicle that sends a spark into the grass, it could be, you know, a cigarette that's thrown outside. It could be intentionally set, so there's many factors that contribute to it,” Ray said.
She said vegetation fires like this are not unusual, but with the increased temperatures and drier vegetation, it's a lot easier for fires like this to spark.
This is especially true during the current heat wave.
“We're very fortunate right now that it's not very windy," Ray said. "If the winds were higher, then we'd probably be in a Red Flag (Warning) day."
Off-ramps near McKee and Highway 680 were all open again Wednesday afternoon.