San Rafael firefighters spent their election night dousing a vegetation fire that sparked around 6 p.m. near 1495 East Francisco Blvd., according to Fire Chief Chris Gray.
Several people reported seeing flames in the open space east of East Francisco Blvd. and north of Shoreline Parkway. The fire is currently under investigation, but authorities suspect that it is the result of several nearby homeless encampments, Gray said.
"Fires have previously erupted in this large area of open vegetation and have involved illegal housing encampments," he said in an email.
Firefighters arrived and found less than one acre of burning tall pampas grass. "The burning pampas grass is dangerous and very stubborn to extinguish," Gray said.
After 30 minutes, the blaze was extinguished. Firefighters remained in the area to ensure that the fire was out. No one was harmed.
The incident occurred in an area where a large amount of debris, belongings and furnishings were discovered from several new encampments, according to Gray.
"It was reported that one or more persons may have been working within an encampment on a boat motor with gasoline in an area surrounded by dry pampas grass," he said.
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