Wildfire burns portion of Tilton Ranch

A CalFire helicopter doused the blaze Tuesday from the air.

A vegetation fire burned part of a cattle ranch and shooting
range in the hills northwest of Morgan Hill.
Morgan Hill

A vegetation fire burned part of a cattle ranch and shooting range in the hills northwest of Morgan Hill.

The fire, which started about 5 p.m. Tuesday, burned about 13 acres of unpopulated property that is covered in grass pastures, shrubs and scattered oak trees. By about 6 p.m., fire crews from CalFire, Santa Clara County and South County fire departments were working on forming a perimeter around the blaze, according to CalFire Battalion Chief Ken McGeever.

The fire was about 70 percent contained by that time, McGeever said. No structures were damaged or threatened by the grass fire. No people or livestock were injured.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation, McGeever said.

The property that burned is on the west side of Hale Avenue and is located within the 3,000-acre Tilton Ranch, a cattle farm owned by Greg Burback.

Firefighters at the scene noted the origin of the fire was near a portion of the property that is used for sport shooting, and is run by Coyote Valley Sporting Clays. Burback, who leases the property to the shooting range, suggested the cause of the fire was likely related to people or equipment using the shooting area.

Fighting the fire were personnel and equipment from the three area agencies, including two airplane tankers, an “air attack” plane and a helicopter.

Despite the recent rain that soaked South County, the fire shows people should recognize that fire season is not over, McGeever said.

“Even though we’ve had this rain, you can’t be careless,” McGeever said. “Some of the fuel is still extremely dry.”

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