SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Bay Area police say two teens have admitted to starting a grass fire that scarred an iconic hillside amid a scorching heat wave and dangerous fire conditions.
South San Francisco police said a brush fire spotted Friday around noon on “Sign Hill” grew quickly due to hot and windy conditions. Crews contained the fire hours later with no injuries and no structures lost but residents were temporarily displaced.
The large sign on the hill reads “South San Francisco,” a city of roughly 70,000.
Officials say an alert resident spotted two teen boys, ages 14 and 16, leaving the area where the fire started. The teens are with their families while the investigation continues.
It has been a disastrous wildfire season in California, with more than 8,500 blazes burning more than 6,400 square miles (16,000 square kilometers) since the start of the year. Thirty-one people have died and some 9,200 buildings have been destroyed.
Most of this year’s fires have occurred since mid-August, when an unusual siege of thousands of lightning strikes ignited huge blazes.