Novato firefighters doused a small fire in a patch of poison oak near the railroad tracks in the undeveloped Hanna Ranch area on Monday afternoon, and the burned patch is being investigated as suspicious.
Novato Fire District Battalion Chief Jeff Veliquette said four engines and a medical crew responded to a call at 4:17 p.m. for a vegetation fire between Highway 37 and the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. Those first at the site found a small patch burning on a hillside next to the tracks. Veliquette said the fire location was about a quarter mile north of Highway 37 and a quarter mile south of the Costco store.
Nobody was in the area and there were no other sources of ignition, Veliquette said. The fire was put out in about 10 minutes and was limited to an area of 20 feet by 20 feet, he said.
"It was sort of sheltered from the wind because of the hillside, but later this week were supposed to have the wind kicking up and we have to be cautious as usual," Veliquette said.