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Suspicious Vegetation Fires In San Jose Investigated As Arson

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Authorities in the South Bay are investigating a series of suspicious fires that broke near the Capitol Expressway Wednesday afternoon as arson, according to San Jose Fire officials.

There initially were two fires burning along Coyote Creek in addition to a third fire burning behind a mobile home park and the Los Lagos Golf Course.

The first call came in at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, and the others were reported shortly afterward.

Firefighters arrived to the vegetation fire on Capitol Expressway and Tuers just after 4 P.M.

In total, firefighters battled at least four fires in the area.

The Los Lagos Golf Course turned on its sprinklers to keep the flames away. One of the fires came dangerously close to a mobile home park.

"There were structures threatened. There were some homeless encampments that were threatened," said San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow.

"Since then we've had at least two more fires up along the creek," said Matlow. "We got lines on that very quickly and none of those structures were damaged."

It was not just the timing of the fires that led to them being called suspicious.

"The wind is blowing the opposite direction. It's blowing toward capitol expressway," said area resident Bruce Sullivan.

Investigators told KPIX 5 at the time of the fires, the wind was traveling south, so the fires should've been spreading south. Instead, they were going north.

The area is near where dozens of homeless have set up camp.

"I'm sure that there were some homeless encampments that were burned," said Matlow.

Sullivan said this was far from the first time he has seen fires in this particular area.

"Every summer we get them," said Sullivan.

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