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A scorched hillside can be seen looking down off Stanley Dollar Drive in the Rossmoor area on Monday, April 29, 2013, in Walnut Creek, Calif. The single-alarm fire began around 9:10 a.m. when a bird flew into a live power line, Capt. Robert Marshall said. No one was injured in the morning fire. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

WALNUT CREEK -- A smoky hillside fire near a senior community Monday morning was extinguished without any injuries or property damage, fire officials said.

Credit a lack of wind and the relatively mild temperatures for that good fortune, said Capt. Robert Marshall, public information officer for the Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

"Had this been a month from now, or had the winds been heavier, this would've been a very serious fire," Marshall said.

The 1½-acre fire charred a hill near the 1400 block of Rockledge Drive in the Rossmoor neighborhood before it was brought under control, Marshall said. No structures were damaged or injuries reported.

Marshall said crews whose primary job is to fight wildfires were "still undergoing their spring training" and that a fire aided by wind and higher temperatures would have moved quickly while understaffed crews mobilized to reach it.

"The remote access made this a hard location to reach," Marshall said of the steep hillside, which overlooks several housing units. "But the conditions were working in our favor. We were fortunate on this one."

The single-alarm fire began about 9:10 a.m. when a bird flew into a live power line, Marshall said. Crews needed about 30 minutes to contain it, Marshall said. Cal Fire provided a helicopter, but crews on the ground were able to control the blaze without support from the air, Marshall said.

Crews were expected to monitor hot spots on the hill, which was left charred by the blaze, throughout the day, Marshall said.

Monday marked the first day in which open fire burns were banned in several Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa. The ban went into effect with fire season about to begin and is designed to prevent open burns from turning into major wildfires.

As a result, it's more important than ever for residents living near an open space to maintain the area around it.

"People need to have clearance around their home," Marshall said. "By clearance, we mean that you have to clear out your weeds and any excess vegetation. We recommend 100 feet of clearance on a hillside and 30 to 50 feet on flat ground. It's very important for people to realize that fire season is almost upon us and that they make things safer by clearing out that vegetation."

Rick Hurd covers public safety. Contact him at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.