Wildfire contained off Hecker Pass Road

As of 5:45 the Santa Clara County Fire Department said that the fire on Watsonville Road was 60 percent contained. Photo by Bryce Stoepfel

A late afternoon eight-acre wildfire on both sides of Watsonville Road that threatened vineyards and homes west of Gilroy was reported approximately 60 percent contained within an hour.
Fast-acting fire crews reported the blaze between two Hecker Pass vineyards was 60 percent contained as of 5:45pm Monday.

“We have multiple units here,” said Santa Clara County Fire Chief Derek Witmer. “It’s been on both sides of Watsonville Road, and it’s been spotted multiple times on Honeycomb Lane and out to Hecker Pass.”
“One structure was partially involved in the attic. We were able to catch that.”
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 4:45pm. Four air tankers, two helicopters and multiple crews and equipment from Gilroy, CalFire, Watsonville and Santa Clara County departments battled the blaze in windy conditions. They carved a dozer line around the fire to aid containment and protect nearby homes and vineyards.
Because of dry grass and winds, firefighters worked to contain spot fires sporadically ignited by falling embers.
“Things are actually looking pretty good, but it’s so windy and the grass is so dry, that every time an ember hits, we’re getting new fire,” Witmer said. “Because of that, we’re going to keep the helicopters on.”
Witmer expected to lift a mandatory evacuation by approximately 6:45pm.
“It’s a little too close for comfort,” said Jill Fortino of the fire near Fortino Winery, immediately west and south of the blaze. Sarah’s Vineyard is just east of the fire location.

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