The Santa Cruz Fire Department responded to reports of a wildland fire on Saturday afternoon around 3:49 p.m. The fire was on the western levee of the San Lorenzo river, just north of Water Street, according to Battalion Chief of the SCFD, Rob Young.
When the engine arrived on scene they found a fire with a "slow-moderate" rate of spread and called for an additional engine. Pulling hose lines, the crew was able to control the fire to an area of about 100 feet by 75 feet.
The fire produced large amounts of smoke and burned bushes in close proximity. Crews were able to put out the fire in two hours, according to Battalion Chief Young.
The portion of the levee that burned is a site of numerous homeless camps, and Chief Young said that there had been a fire earlier in the day about 150 yards south caused by burned clothing.
The Santa Cruz Fire Department urges the public to be careful with open flames and discarded smoking material.
Estimated damage from the fire is around $1,000, according to Battalion Chief Young.