Investigators Determine Fireworks Caused Major Grass Fire that Threatened 100 Homes, Prompted Evacuation of 2,200 Residents
CONCORD, CALIF. – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today announced fire investigators have determined fireworks were the cause of the early morning June 17 grassfire that originated in the open space south of Jacqueline Drive, Pittsburg. The fire threatened some 100 homes and forced the mandatory evacuation of approximately 2,200 residents.
The blaze, first reported at 2 a.m., prompted a four-alarm response from both Con Fire and Cal Fire, with more than 100 firefighters and support personnel dispatched to the scene. Structure protection crews, who were aided by substantial work by residents to create defensible space around their properties, were required to protect numerous homes.
When the fire was declared knocked down at 6 a.m, the fire had burned 121 acres. Weather conditions at the time – principally high winds, gusting to 30 miles per hour – coupled with extremely dry and dangerous vegetation, quickly fed the fire, which burned to the northeast, northwest and south, threatening homes to the north.
The mandatory evacuation order implemented by incident commanders, and executed by Pittsburg Police and the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, was Con Fire’s first significant use of the new Zonehaven digital evacuation tool, evacuating zone PTS-E008. Many residents also self-evacuated ahead of the order as flames quickly spread.
Con Fire encourages all County residents to learn their home’s zone by visiting www.cwsalerts.com and clicking on the “Know Your Zone” tab at the top of the page.
No firefighters or civilians were reported injured as a result of the blaze.
The fire remains under investigation at this time to identify the person or persons responsible for setting off the fireworks.