Metallic balloons likely caused San Jose grass fire: PG&E

<div>Metallic balloons likely caused San Jose grass fire: PG&E</div>

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Firefighters have contained a grass fire on Silicon Valley Road and Basking Ridge in the San Jose area Monday, Cal Fire SCU said.

The San Jose Fire Department Air Attack said at 12:20 p.m. that it had grown to 30 acres.

As of 12:47 p.m. the fire was 80% contained.

Forward progress on the fire was stopped around 1:37 p.m. Full containment was reported around 2:15 p.m.

PG&E crews also responded to the fire scene where metallic balloons had flown away and got caught in transmission lines.

PG&E is working with Cal Fire to investigate the cause of the fire.

However, PG&E officials do remind residents that the “foil on metallic balloons conducts electricity extremely well, which can overload power lines. The result of metallic balloons coming into contact with power lines or transformers can include outages and fires.”

As California sees high wildfire risks, officials say this incident is an important reminder to be safe, including when handling metallic balloons.

<div>Metallic balloons likely caused San Jose grass fire: PG&E</div>

PG&E released a list of safety reminders when it comes to metallic balloons:

  • It is graduation season in California and Father’s Day, as well as the Fourth of July, are on the horizon. If your celebrations involve metallic balloons, make sure they’re securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight.
  • When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors. Never permit metallic balloons to be released outside, for everyone’s safety, and puncture them before discarding them or putting them in the trash outdoors to prevent them from floating away.
  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines. Even better, celebrate with non-metallic balloons.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite, drone or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone, and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem.
  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay far away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments. Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared
  • Visit our Safety Action Center for balloon safety graphics and more safety tips: https://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com/articles/44-celebrate-safely.

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