A four-alarm brush fire on Sign Hill in South San Francisco forced people from their homes early Friday afternoon, firefighters said.
The blaze near the historic "South San Francisco The Industrial City" sign burned about 10 acres before crews were able to get it under control, but it did singe some homes.
"The fire did bump up against a couple of homes, but the crews were able to make a quick stop and knock it down before the fire got interior, so there was just some external damage to those homes," South San Francisco fire chief Jess Magallanes said.
Mandatory evacuations were called for Carnelian Road, Sonja Road, Mountain Road, Ridgeview Court and Viewmont Terrace, according to the fire department. All evacuation orders were lifted by Friday evening.
Manny Carapala was among those who could only watch as the flames spread, both near the sign — in place since the 1920s — and houses.
"It was quick," he said. "Less than 10 minutes it was the whole mountain on fire. It was really fast."
Brush around the sign burned, but the sign appeared to remain intact for the most part.