SAN JOSE -- A smoky wildland fire consumed 15 acres of brush and threatened homes around Almaden Quicksilver Park in South San Jose before being contained by firefighters Saturday afternoon.

Planes, helicopters, bulldozers and about 85 firefighters fought the blaze in hilly terrain, Capt. Mike Van Elgort of the San Jose Fire Department said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"It was hot out there. But it was nice there was not a strong wind," Van Elgort said. The area had not burned in a long time, he said, and is considered high risk. "The tinder is very dry."

Residents reported the fire at 4:32 p.m. Saturday, and San Jose fire officials quickly called in CalFire to assist. The fire threatened six homes near the park, but firefighters managed to protect the structures. The fire was contained by 6:30 p.m., but crews continued to keep a close eye and extinguish hot spots, Van Elgort said.

He urged homeowners to step up vigilance during the drought. "If your home is near wildland, you need to make sure you have a defensible space"-- 100 feet cleared next to structures -- "and identify all the water sources and know the land really well so you can help us help you."

Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/noguchionk12.



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