Coastside firefighters are blaming people launching illegal fireworks for causing two grass fires on the Fourth of July near Half Moon Bay.

A neighbor reported around 9:30 p.m. that a small grass fire was spreading about five miles east of Half Moon Bay off Higgins Canyon Road. The fire burned about a quarter acre of grass and eucalyptus before firefighters from the nearby Half Moon Bay Fire station arrived to control it.

Coastside Fire Protection District officials believe a group of people driving on the road were stopping sporadically to set off fireworks and may have sparked the fire. They are continuing to investigate the incident.

A second fire was reported later that night in Miramar off Guerrero Street. The heat from a package of fireworks had apparently caused vegetation to begin smoldering. The burning area grew to about the size of a tennis court until it was reported to fire officials around 1 a.m.

Coastside fire officials say the incidents were relatively minor but could have been much worse if conditions were different.

“We’re glad we have a calm, cool Fourth of July,” said Coastside Fire spokesman Clayton Jolley. “If those same fires happened on a hot windy day, it would have been a different story.”

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