County of Marin - News Releases - Pine Mountain Wildfire

For Immediate Release
June 27, 2017

Firefighters Tackle Blaze Near Kent Lake

About 80 personnel called to wildfire; full containment expected by evening


Woodacre, CA – The Marin County Fire Department spent June 27 fighting a wildfire in a remote area near Kent Lake, about two miles southwest of Woodacre. As of 3:30 p.m., it had burned 38 acres and was at 75 percent containment. No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported. Fire administrators expected 100 percent containment by early evening.

An airplane from Cal Fire lets loose on a load of fire retardant as if flies over the fire near Kent Lake.A CALFIRE tanker releases retardant on the fire near Kent Lake and Pine Mountain Fire Road.
The fire is burning on Marin Municipal Water District land in the Mount Tamalpais Watershed, just south of the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve. The cause has not been determined.

The size of the fire was estimated at 15 acres for much of the day, but with a more accurate reading from a helicopter in mid-afternoon, the acreage was revised to 38 by about 3:30 p.m.

A park ranger called in the fire at 10:26 a.m. The blaze started near the junction of the Pine Mountain Fire Road and the Azalea Hill Trail off Fairfax-Bolinas Road. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Brown said the fire moved at a low rate of speed under 10 mph winds at the time and was burning mostly grass and brush. Airplanes and helicopters from CAL FIRE first arrived at 11:15 a.m. and dropped bright orange retardant as well as water from nearby Kent Lake. Winds, blowing from the northwest, later gusted to 15 mph and the fire consumed some bay, laurel and oak trees.

About 40 personnel tended to fire during its first few hours. By early afternoon, the personnel number had doubled because of an influx of hand crews from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CAL FIRE.

Marin County Fire deployed its off-road fire engines, bulldozer and water tenders. Firefighters from the Tam Fire Crew attacked the blaze from the ground along with CAL FIRE hand crews. The fire was prevented from crossing north of Pine Mountain Fire Road toward the San Geronimo Valley. The nearest homes were about 2.5 miles away in San Geronimo and Woodacre, and there were no evacuations.

Brown said the fire was difficult to reach. Winds fanned flames and allowed it to grow despite high humidity.

“We were fortunate that there was high humidity due to the fog and helped to hold the fire in check until we could get resources at scene,” Brown said. “Retardant drops from the air tankers were key in limiting the spread of the fire and keeping it from reaching and potentially moving over Pine Mountain Fire Road. While it took a long time to get personnel to the scene, once they did get there, we had sufficient numbers to make quick work on the fire and increase containment.”

Marin County Fire received mutual aid from the Marin Municipal Water District, the Ross Valley Fire Department, the Mill Valley Fire Department, the Larkspur Fire Department and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

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JUNE 28 UPDATE: Firefighters reached 100 percent containment at 8 a.m. June 28. Two engines, one water tender and Fire Department personnel were being devoted the burn site for at least part of the day. The determining factor is how much heat is coming off the burned sections after the sun shines on the area for a while, said Deputy Chief Mark Brown. After an investigation, the cause of the fire was determined to be a tree limb that fell into a power pole.


Mark Brown
Deputy Chief
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Mark Brown
Marin County Fire website