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, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...