News Column

Mount Diablo Blaze Grows to 1,500 Acres

September 9, 2013

Rick Hurd and David DeBolt, Contra Costa Times

A wildfire burning outside Mt. Diablo State Park that has forced dozens of residents to evacuate grew to 1,500 acres overnight and remains about 10 percent contained, a fire spokesman said Monday morning.

The fire, which has been burning on Morgan Territory Road, forced additional evacuations late Sunday, Cal Fire spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson said. One firefighter suffered a minor injury, she said, and a structure that Hutchinson defined as a "remote outbuilding" has been damaged by the fire, she said.

Dennis Rein, an information officer for the Moraga Orinda Fire District, said the fire had reached 1,500 acres and was still only 10 percent contained Monday morning.

He said 250 firefighters were on the line and were going to be replaced by 500 new firefighters this morning. Crews are gathering at Camp Parks in Dublin and are arriving from all over the state, he said.

An air attack on the fire was scheduled with to air tankers dropping fire retardant on the growing fire about 8 a.m. Monday.

Other helicopters were surveying the fire and efforts from above.

One firefighter suffered a foot injury while fighting the fire, Rein said.

As many as 75 homes were in danger as the fire shifted south Sunday and away from Clayton and toward the summit of Mount Diablo, Hutchinson said.

"It's kind of burning up and around" Mt. Diablo, she said.

Homes on Trail Ride Road, Russelman Park Road, East Trail Road, Upper Trail Road and Lower Trail Road were ordered to be evacuated around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, Contra Costa Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy Lee said. Most of the residents and homes in that area already had been evacuated by emergency personnel, he said.

Those evacuated were told to go to the Clayton Community Library at 6125 Clayton Road in Clayton.

Marsh Creek Road, a major roadway connecting the area with parts of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, was closed from Camino Diablo and Regency Drive, and Morgan Territory Road remained closed from Marsh Creek Road to Highland Road in Alameda, Hutchinson said.

The fire is the largest near Mount Diablo in recent memory.

Follow Rick Hurd at Twitter.com/3rdERH and follow David DeBolt at Twitter.com/daviddebolt. Bay Area News Group staff writer Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report.

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(c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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Original headline: Mt. Diablo fire: Blaze grows to 1,500 acres, more evacuations ordered overnight, one firefighter injured



Source: (c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)