An illegal campfire was the cause of a wildfire in the Teague Hill Open Space Preserve in Woodside that broke out early in the morning on Sunday, Aug. 11, according to Fire Marshal Denise Enea of the Woodside Fire Protection District.
Investigators found the remains of the campfire during a tour of the area near Kings Mountain Road on Monday, Enea said.
No suspects have been identified in the case.
"It's very rare that we could have illegal camping, not something we come across very often," said Brian Malone, assistant general manager for the Midpeninsula Open Space District.
The wildfire burned 3.5 to 5 acres on the north end of the preserve, Enea said.
The preserve's south side is adjacent to homes, and the fire district has obtained a $100,000 state grant to remove downed trees and other fuel that could be consumed in a fire in that area.
Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading at about 9 a.m. Sunday morning and extinguished the fire at about 6 p.m., according to the fire district.
"Under the right circumstances, with a high wind event, we could have had a very large fire (Sunday)," Enea said. "The campfire was in an inaccessible area, not near any of the main trails."
Open campfires are not allowed in the fire district's coverage area of Woodside and Portola Valley, neither are they permitted in the open space district that maintains 63,000 acres of wildlands on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, including Teague Hill, Enea said.
Read more details about the fire here.