Home Contra Costa County East Contra Costa Fire Says PG&E Equipment Identified as Cause of Bethel Island and Oakley Fires

East Contra Costa Fire Says PG&E Equipment Identified as Cause of Bethel Island and Oakley Fires

by ECT

Brentwood, CA — East Contra Costa Fire Protection District was dispatched early Sunday morning on October 27, 2019 at 3:08 A.M. for a reported vegetation fire on the 3,000 block of Gateway Road in Bethel Island.

Upon arrival, a rapidly spreading wind driven fire covering the size of a football field was observed and threatening the new Delta Coves housing development. Upon conclusion of the fire investigation, the area of origin was identified under PG&E power lines with a video of the transformer casting sparks to the vegetation below.

While bringing this fire under control, a second fire was reported in the area of Bethel Island Road and East Cypress Road in the city of Oakley at 5:00 A.M. According to the initial reporting party and confirmed through our fire investigation, PG&E equipment again had a malfunction and cast sparks 200 yards to the South igniting vegetation.

This fast moving fire caused ember casting into the Summer Lakes community forcing residents to evacuate their homes at 5:30 A.M. ECCFPD and their allied agencies were able to bring this fire under control without the loss of a single structure and a safe evacuation without any injuries to report.

“I would like to commend all of our personnel from ECCFPD, our allied fire agencies, our police agencies, and the Cities of Oakley and Brentwood and Contra Costa County that came together to fight these fires, protected our communities, and helped to restore normalcy after this unprecedented weather event with recorded wind gust up to 75 mph.” stated Fire Chief Helmick of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.


The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is a rural-funded fire district that protects a population of more than 120,000 across its 249 square-mile service area. The District provides firefighting personnel, emergency medical services (basic life support) and fire prevention to the residents and businesses of the cities of Brentwood and Oakley as well as the unincorporated communities of Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory.  Learn more at www.eccfpd.org or social media via Facebook (East Contra Costa Fire Protection District),, Instagram (@east_contra_costa_fire), Twitter (@ECCFPD ) or our YouTube channel (East Contra Costa Fire Protection District).

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PattyOfurniture Oct 30, 2019 - 8:27 pm

Great, now they will shut down Oakley just like everywhere else. BS.

I call BS Oct 30, 2019 - 9:44 pm

Blaming the homeless camp that actually started the fire has no financial upside. As much as I hate PG&E this cover story stinks.

MEV Oct 31, 2019 - 2:19 am

Could someone purposely be making the PG&E equipment malfunction? Why aren’t there sensors that alert 911 immediately if sparks start flying with all these smart apps and drones. Something stinks besides the air and PG&E executives. I have lived in California all my life and have seen bad fires but nothing like this. Many have been started by encampments and ruled arson as has been reported by EBT. The guy in Milpitas too who came out for his 40th high school reunion from Wisconsin I think and decides to set a fire. Someone wrote down his rental car license plate or he never would have been caught. I hope this stops. Feel awful for all suffering through this. CHP pulls someone over for throwing a lit cig out of his car in the fire zone. Wow!

Robert C Oct 31, 2019 - 8:21 am

Granted, PG&E needs management improvements. So does our ineffective CPUC. California needs to put more resources into hardening the electrical infrastructure – for ALL it’s public utilities, not just PG&E. That means LONG TERM investment in improvements.

Demonizing PG&E – as our esteemed governor finds politically convenient – does no good. There isn’t a utility in the country whose infrastructure can withstand hurricane force winds without damage. But in other areas of the country, those destructive storms (hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc.) do not occur in weather conditions that lead to wildfires. It is California’s misfortune that the Diablo and Santa Ana winds occur when conditions are tinder dry. That’s not PG&E’s fault.

Jenkins Bradley Ecclesine Oct 31, 2019 - 5:57 pm

70 mph winds are not hurricane force winds. Dude, check your facts!

Robert C Nov 1, 2019 - 5:30 am

Wind gusts of over 100 mph were recorded during this past week … dude.

Deborah Nov 2, 2019 - 2:32 am

Damn! This Is ‘The Fire Season’! Please
please let’s All be highly aware of the
fire danger around us, Californians, alright?! And here’s to the Gallant Firefighters who’ve been up and out to Fight these deadly wildfires! Thank You!

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