Belmont fire officials respond to fourth fire in hills, issue warnings 

Four fires that have burned this year in the hills above Carlmont High School in Belmont have prompted fire officials to issue a warning about dry conditions and campfires.

The latest fire was reported about 1:45 p.m. Sunday in an open area behind the school, located at 1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, according to the Belmont Fire Department.

Flames burned about 100 square feet before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

"Fortunately, we received the call right away and got to it before it could spread," Deputy Fire Chief Mike Gaffney said. "This is the kind of careless act that can lead to a major fire."

Firefighters have responded to three other fires at the same location in January, April and May, he said. They all appear to have been started by small campfires that were abandoned or not fully extinguished, according to the Fire Department.

The lack of winter rains has resulted in dry conditions across the state, and fire officials in Belmont have joined local and state agencies in warning residents to create defensible space around homes by removing dry plants.

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