A brush fire shut down all southbound lanes on Interstate Highway 880 Friday evening and sparked worry in a nearby San Jose neighborhood.
The fire was reported at about 6:20 p.m. just south of North First Street, which is near Mineta San Jose International Airport and several yards from Rosemary Gardens neighborhood.
"It was in the homeless encampment close to the freeway. And there was balls of flames going high up in the sky and engulfing trees and everything," said San Jose resident Angie Young.
Young and other who live in Rosemary Gardens always have their garden hoses ready because over the last few years, there have been more than five sizable fires that threatened their homes.
The southbound 880 shut down caused a traffic back up that stretched for miles.
Fire crews were able get a handle on the flames and no injures were reported but residents say the threat of fire in that area is constant.
"This has happened so many times," said resident Lisa Hayes. "When I moved in here five years ago, within the first week we had three major fires."
San Jose resident Maria Tejo said they often find debris in the field between their homes and Hwy. 880. They're frustrated because they don't feel the city or Cal Trans is doing enough.
"All we ask is that Cal Trans maintain that land so that when homeless people are back there, they don’t start a fire and endanger ourselves, our children, our pets, our homes," she said. "We’re sympathetic to what they’re going through but this is not safe for any of us."