At around 12:30 p.m., a fire emerged in Lake Lagunita, according to emergency alerts sent out to the Stanford community. The nearby dorms Narnia and Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF) were evacuated for precautionary purposes by the Palo Alto Fire Department.
According to a sheriff on site, the fire was caused by a model airplane that had crashed onto the ground in the basin of the lake.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which belonged to the non-profit Uplift Aeronautics, crashed during a routine test flight, confirmed Mark Jacobsen, founder of Uplift Aeronautics.
The cause of the crash is still being determined, Jacobsen said.
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The UAV launch crew, consisting of Stanford students, reported the grassfire in the bed of Lake Lagunita within a minute of the incident, prompting the emergency alerts, according to Jacobsen.
Once the fire department arrived 10 minutes later, according to observers on site, they announced the temporary evacuation of EBF and Narnia. Residents will be allowed to return by the end of the day.
“[The Stanford Department of Public Safety] want everyone to stay away, be careful where they walk and not to disperse of anything that could ignite or be an ignition source,” said Lieutenant Chris Cohendet.
The fire was extinguished by 2:49 pm, according to an AlertSU Emergency Alert that was sent out, further indicating that there were no reports of injuries or any structural damage. According to the alert, the Dish area will be closed for the remainder of the day as a precautionary measure.
This post has been updated.
Jocelyn Woods has contributed to this report.
Contact Catherine Zaw at czaw13 ‘at’ gmail.com.