By 6:00 am, the American Red Cross stated volunteers have opened a second shelter at Los Medanos College (2700 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg) for residents evacuated from Bay Point due to wildfire threatening a gas pipeline.
Just before 7:00 am, Contra Costa County Fire held a press conference which provided an overview of the incident.
Terrence Carey, assistant Chief with the fire department, explained at 6:00 pm, they responded to a vegetation fire in the area of the incident they were working right now which crews responded to and knocked it down.
“An hour after we left the scene, we were called back for a fire in the vault,” said Carey. “What we discovered was a active fire burning in the vault with a large pipeline burning with natural gas. It was determined quickly of a high probably of danger and so a decision was made to escalate the incident which included setting up an evacuation zone of a half-mile radius around the incident. We also called out additional fire resources by going to a first and second alarm in a potential rupture of the gas line.”
Carey explained since the start of the incident, they have been working with both law enforcement and Chevron to mitigate the incident including evacuating citizens.
“Safety of our citizens is paramount and our number one concern as well as our fire resources,” said Carey. “We are working on clearing the gas line of gas but once that is cleared out we anticipate the active fire still burning to be extinguished. We will go in an investigate to ensure that is the case. Then we will look at lifting the evacuation order. Again, we are very sympathetic to our citizens that are displaced from their homes, but we want to ensure their safety and our safety as well.”
The Sheriffs Officer highlighted how 4,000 individuals were evacuated in a very short time and utilized Pittsburg Police who used their drone to assist Chevron and CONFIRE with heat detection.
Chevron shared there was still an active fire in the vault and they were working to clear the line with a plan to purge the remaining natural gas and inject nitrogen into the pipeline to extinguish the fire while allowing them to gain control of the situation.
Chevron stated by 7:00 am they were no longer in a threat for an explosion as they were currently flushing the line with nitrogen.
CONFIRE stated it could be several more hours, that once the integrity of the pipe is not compromised they would lift the evacuation order, but no time table was given and they hoped within the three-hour timeline.
At 6:20 am, BART stated the shelter in their Pittsburg/Bay Point parking lot had moved to Los Medanos College and the parking lot was now available for BART riders.
3:00 pm Update
All-Clear in Bay Point for evacuation for gas line fire.
This is a message from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. An `All Clear` has been issued for the evacuation due to a gas line fire in Bay Point. The emergency situation has ended. Please feel free to resume normal activities. Do not call 9 1 1 unless you have a life threatening emergency to report.
Immediate Evacuation near Willow Pass Road and Pointsettia Lane in Bay Point due to a Gas Leak.
This is a message from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. Due to natural gas leak, an immediate evacuation has been ordered in Bay Point between Bailey Road and Loftus Lane and from the railroad tracks south to Hanlon Way.
Leave now and go to either the Calvary Temple Church or Pittsburg BART. Take only those essential items you have ready and can carry with you. Pets must be in a carrier or on a leash. Lock your windows and doors as you leave. Stay off the phone unless you need to report a life-threatening emergency at your location. However, if you are physically unable to leave your home unassisted, call 9 1 1 for help. To see a map of the evacuation area, go to www.cococws.us.