Sparks from model rocket caused grass fire Sunday at Cesar Chavez Park

After containing the fire, firefighters continued to put out “hot spots” for about 1.5 hours.

Smoke billows from grass fire at Cesar Chavez Park on July 5, 2020
Smoke billows from grass fire at Cesar Chavez Park on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Photo: @isabelle21g/Twitter

A grass fire that broke out at Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley on Sunday afternoon, was started unintentionally when a model rocket launched by some children sparked the dry grass, according to Assistant Berkeley Fire Chief Keith May.

BFD received a 911 call at 3:29 p.m. about “a small debris fire” at the park. BFD initially dispatched one engine, but then upgraded to a wildland first-alarm response, May told Berkeleyside.

Once at the park, fire crews found a light grass fire with a moderate rate of spread and wind moving from west to east. Berkeley Police began to evacuate the park and firefighters were able to confine the fire to approximately 2 acres.

Fire units continued to put out “hot spots” for approximately 1.5 hours and firefighters remained at the scene until 6:15 p.m.

Nobody was injured as a result of the fire.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: