News in Brief: Firefighters Snuff Out Grassfires



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Firefighters were keeping a close eye on the Berkeley Hills yesterday after they extinguished two suspicious morning grassfires.

The fires, which were reported within 30 minutes of each other, are under investigation and may be the result of arson, said Berkeley Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Revilla.

Firefighters from multiple agencies responded to the fires, which burned less than an acre total between 7 and 8 a.m. Both fires were out within 30 minutes of their report.

Revilla said the fires were likely not sparked accidentally or by the weather. Both occurrences were out of the way, creating suspicion that they were deliberate, he said.

The first fire occurred 100-200 feet off Centennial Drive on UC property near the Strawberry Canyon swimming pools, engulfing a 12 by 18 foot area at about 7 a.m.

While firefighters were nearly finished putting out the first fire, a larger blaze was reported to the north, 300 feet off Keller Avenue. The 0.6 acre fire came within 500 feet of a house, Revilla said.

"There is no reason why there would be a fire starting in that area," he said.

The Berkeley Police Department documented the first fire as suspicious.

Nate Tabak

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