The Santa Clara County Fire Department reported an illegal "warming fire" on Wednesday at 1475 So. Bascom Ave.
The fire was reported at 7:49 p.m. Jan. 16 and was described by the fire department as a natural vegetation fire and warming fire at a homeless camp.
A second "unintentional" fire was reported at 12:46 a.m. on Jan. 8 along Highway 17 behind the soundwall at Hamilton Avenue. This was also described by the fire department as a "warming fire" by a homeless person.
"Obviously right now, due to the extreme weather, people will have fires outside, particularly if they don't have a home," says Santa Clara County Fire Department Operations Capt. Gil Smith. "We feel awful that we have to put them out but because it's not in a designated area we have to do it."
Warming fires are generally a fire that the department classifies as something in a person's backyard, in a contained fire pit or something that a homeless person or people set up to keep warm.
"Generally, if the fire is due to a homeless person, we need to put them out because they're usually not contained in a fire pit and not legal," he said. "If it's in a person's backyard, we don't have to put them out because provisions in the fire code all people to have a fire pit in their backyard."
A third fire was reported at 2:28 p.m. on Jan. 15 at 41 Heritage Village Ln. This incident was described by the fire department as a dumpster fire with the cause unknown.
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