San Jose firefighters battle brush fire in 99 degree temperatures

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Fire crews in San Jose had to battle a brush fire as temperatures neared triple digit hit. The fire burned 75 acres in the hills above Santa Teresa Boulevard and is 80 percent contained. In San Jose, Thursday was a hot day where it reached a record high temperature of 98 degrees.

Firefighters in South San Jose stopped the brush fire from spreading Thursday afternoon. At one point, 15 homes were evacuated. Crews had to deal with hot, dry and at times windy conditions. The fire fight occurred as temperatures reached 98 degrees.

“The heat does make it much harder for us to fight the fire both in the fire behavior and on the workload for the firefighters,” said Capt. Mitch Matlow of San Jose Fire.

Hydration was key for firefighters. A VTA bus was brought in with the air conditioner running so crews could cool off.

One firefighter suffered a heat-related problem.

“He got overheated on the fire line,” said Capt. Matlow.

The firefighter ultimately returned to work. The cause of the fire is under investigation but may have started after a pick-up truck crashed into a power pole.

“If it came over the hill here, I wanted to be as ready as I could be,” said Brian Hiatt of San Jose. 

Hiatt got his hoses ready in case the fire came near his house. He was one of 1,700 customers who lost power in the area and that meant no air conditioning. His eight-year-old daughter Madeline had a rough day in the heat

At the first recess we had fun but when it was starting to get hot we had to go inside,” said Madeline Hiatt.

At George Page Park page in South San Jose, the San Jose Oaks traveling baseball team thought about canceling practice but didn't.

“We had to put on a lot of gear, it keeps you really warm, it's just not good,” said Catcher Aaron Dar.

“They complain of course because it’s hot but we make sure once we take breaks,” said Coach Andrew Kim. “We do it in the shade and when we are talking, we are talking in the shade.”

At Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose, many families didn't mind the heat too much. The water fountains always a big hit. Margie Berti from Los Angeles was cooling down with her three-month-old granddaughter.

“That’s where it's at, that's the place to be, look at everybody having a wonderful time,” said Berti.