June 11, 2010 16:58 pm · 65 comments

A large fire is burning near Shell Ridge Open Space, and a voluntary evacuation is underway.

The following information is from the Walnut Creek Police Department.

Everyone near Shell Ridge Open Space between Indian Valley School and La Casa Via should be aware of a Grass Fire.

Walnut Creek Police is alerting residents to a dangerous situation.

There is a grass fire in the Shell Ridge Open Space behind Indian Valley School. The fire is moving in a easterly direction towards Borges Ranch.

Walnut Creek Police Department, Contra Costa County Fire District, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, East Bay Regional Parks and CAL Fire are on scene handling the situation.

There is a voluntary evacuation for these areas.

CalFIRE is on their way to the scene to help extinguish the blaze.

We’ll keep you updated! Thanks to Kevin for one of the pictures, and Paige for the rest. We really appreciate the photos!

UPDATE, 6:06pm: According to “Paige”, who sent in about 5 photos, the fire is moving east, deeper into Shell Ridge.

Cal fire and national Parks helos are doing air support. Also fixed wing units dropped retardant earlier. Cal fire just sent in more ground units as well. Code blue.

Thanks again to “Paige” for the photos and the information!

UPDATE, 6:37pm: Another fire has started near Marshall and La Vista, it’s currently a two-alarm blaze and the Office of Emergency Services is responding to help battle that blaze.

UPDATE, 6:52pm: Thanks to “Rob” for the 4th and 5th photos, which shows the helicopter picking up water from the lake at Heather Farm.

UPDATE, 7:20: Thanks to “Kristine” for the top three photos of the helicopter scooping water from the lake.

The fire is still burning out of control, and winds have yet to die down in the hills.

1 D June 11, 2010 at 5:03 PM

It is near Indian Valley Elementary. Several units responding. News chopper also on scene.

2 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:03 PM

NBC news just said they think it’s in the Shell Ridge Open Space off Ygnacio Valley Road and Marshall

3 Phoenix June 11, 2010 at 5:05 PM

…let it burn.

4 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:07 PM

It is off Marshall off homestead I’m a mail carrier in walnut creek ygnacio is backed up bad.

5 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:09 PM

I just heard a ghetto bird fly over Rossmoor Shopping Center

6 just me June 11, 2010 at 5:12 PM

grab your popcorn sounds like an air show will be happening soon, EBRPD and Cal Fire both have helicopters and planes arriving on scene. It’s at least 2 alarms from ConFire (may have gone 3) plus a full response from Cal Fire. Both Central and East Contra Costa fire are on scene.

7 just me June 11, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Planes may be delayed looks like one is coming from Redding and one from Fresno….

8 Shasta Daisy June 11, 2010 at 5:21 PM

My hubby just came home and said he saw the fire from Hwy 24.
He asked me to check Claycord for the location.

Thanks Mayor.

9 AnonLW June 11, 2010 at 5:22 PM

heading towards Borges Ranch rd

10 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:23 PM

D is correct, it is in the open space by Indian Valley.

11 Cheryl June 11, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Phoenix, you’re an idiot.

If it’s off Marshall, it’s near Indian Valley Elementary… at this time of day there are still kids up there at the daycare on the campus.

12 AnonLW June 11, 2010 at 5:23 PM

It started at La Vista and Marshall

13 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Oh No! What was it a sun flare that caused the fire? Did the weeds just spontaneously combust?
I hope the people can see where this is headed – All your parks will be closed for the summer because you all need to be babysat.

14 drvrdadca June 11, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Darn “red Flag” warnings. If that person (don’t know if was a person) had just read it here first then we wouldn’t be on fire now.

15 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:28 PM

it’s up on the ridge past the water tower near Indian Valley Elementary. They’ve evacuated the school but the fire seems to be burning away from the neighborhood. Tons of planes and helicopters.

16 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:29 PM

The news just showed a helecopter dropping water on the fire.

17 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Channel 2 says no structures are threatened.

18 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Hell of a lot more than a 2 alarm fire. I’m at my office on YV in downtown WC and in the last 5 minutes alone 5 trucks have gone by. That doesn’t account for the ones that were first on the scene…and there go two more pulling tractors.

19 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Thanks for the location #14, I have dear friends who live off of El Verano and I was worried.

20 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:43 PM
21 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 5:46 PM

News chopper taking video from above Rossmoor Shopping Center.

22 cheryl June 11, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Based on Anon 14’s info, it would have to burn uncontrolled for a while for it to threaten structures, as long as it doesn’t change directions.

23 All the Streets are Clogged June 11, 2010 at 6:00 PM

with Burglars and Thieves flocking to the Evacuation area.

24 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Does anyone know if Rodeo fire is there???

25 Phil June 11, 2010 at 6:10 PM

I can smell the smoke right here in Dublin near 580/680. I thought it was near by.

26 Anon E. Mouse June 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM

An attempt to stop everyone from Concord moving to WC for the better school district!
Whereabouts of the MDUSD board this afternoon?
(For the intellectually challenged among us, that’s a joke.)

Thanks firemen and women, stay safe and protect those homes!

27 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:16 PM

How close is this to Castle Rock Regional Rec Area? I’m really bummed….we are having my son’s grad party there on Sunday. My fingers are crossed!

28 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Not sure what happened to the numbering. I was #14 but now showing as #15.

#12 AnonLW said that it started at LaVista and Marshall, which is smack in the middle of our neighborhood. I first noticed the fire at around 4:00pm while standing at LaVista and Marshall. It most definitely did not start there. The fire was up on the ridge in the open space about a half mile away.

29 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:23 PM

I can see 2 new fires starting below the ridge on the Ygnacio side of the ridge now.

30 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Webcam, can see the choppers coming in and making water drops.

Is a (remote) WEB control camera can sit at home and control the camera.

31 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:26 PM

The fire is burning in the same area of where a helicopter crashed on President’s Day back in 1994. A cargo helicopter from San Jose crashed in Shell Ridge right behind Indian Valley Elementary School, killing all 3 men aboard the helicopter. Fortunately it was raining, and the fire from the crash didn’t spread. I remember some of the fire engines got stuck in the mud!!

32 Cheryl June 11, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Oh goodness, I was watching the coverage on KRON 4, and they can’t seem to figure out where the fire is for map graphic purposes. Good grief.

33 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Dinner in one hand, mouse in the other, fixed wing tanker just made fire retardant drop …
back to dinner and the show.

34 anon June 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Re Castle Rock Proximity – fairly close. Go to Google or Yahoo maps. Type in La Casa Via, Walnut Creek, CA and then zoom out. You will see that Shell Ridge Open Space opens up into Castle Rock area in about 1 – 1 1/2 miles as the crow flies, nearly due East, which is the current direction of fire.

Hopefully they can stop it before then, but you might want to check to see whether it will be open anyway because of the Red Flag warning. If you need an alternative, you might try Lafayette Reservoir or Heather Farm if you need a park that probably won’t close due to the Red Flag warning this weekend.

35 Cheryl June 11, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Anon 28, I noticed that too… a fire starting @ La Vista and Marshall and “no structures threatened” would not belong in the same sentence.

36 Phoenyx June 11, 2010 at 6:36 PM

Please don’t confuse “Phoenix” #3 with me (just sayin)

Hope they can get it under control soon. Everybody in that area be safe!

37 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I live just to the north of the Shell Ridge proper and can see that the fire has crosses the ridge to the north side and is buring down into the Mockingbird Hill / Wiget Lane area.

38 Power Boux June 11, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I can tell you now that it was not a Latino or a black youth with a hood on trying to hold up a rattlesnake or corn snake on the trail with a Bic lighter. However it is possible a soccer mom escaping her daily boredom tried to relive her youth by hiking in a 1/2 mile and smoking a nice unfiltered camel before throwing it down on the valley floor.

39 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Thanks #34. Unfortunately, we’ve already paid $170 for our reservation and have people coming from all over. It would be hard to find another site at this late hour being that it is grad week. Thanks again!

40 Loco Lolo June 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM

does anyone know which direction it is heading like towards north gate high school or towards down town????

41 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Heading East …. toward John Muir Med Center

42 Sandy June 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Let’s pray that all of the firefighters stay safe and are able to contain this monster before it gets to any structures. Can you imagine what it is like for them….the clothes they must wear, the equipment they must haul and the heat they must endure. And there are those who think that firefighters and police officers make too much money….the fools!

43 Mary June 11, 2010 at 7:35 PM

why aren’t the roads closed to assist the fire dept. etc. I see people doing there typical driving up in that area. This needs to be excalated. There are tons of homes in the area. I’m very worried!

44 Cheryl June 11, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Anon 41, Actually it’s burning away from JMMC unless it changed direction. The point where it started is about a mile as the crow flies from JMMC.

45 Anon June 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM

its right here by northgate

46 Shasta Daisy June 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM

I was hiking today…very dry and windy. I was worried about potential fires over the weekend with the predicted high temps. Never thought it would really happen.

47 Lechon June 11, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Love this site.
Left Cali decades ago to a very rural PNW coastal area.

Having been raised in Pittsburg (uhg) and then living a year in Concord (another Seeno home)
off of Ygnacio(sic) before my permanant exile north
it is interesting to read the comments and articles

Great lil forum.

48 Mr. Mayor June 11, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Thanks, welcome to! :)

I love the PNW coastal area! We’re going there in a month.

49 Cheryl June 11, 2010 at 8:05 PM

When I was picking up my kids at Indian Valley this morning, it was already pretty gusty up there. The topography up there is kind of like a wind tunnel.

50 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Heading East. Sort of toward North Gate. Probably 1.5 miles away.

51 Bowsprite June 11, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Prayers for the firefighters and the fire fighting pilots, the other emergency personnel involved and for the people and animals affected.

52 Fire is out June 11, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Fire is done..

53 anonLW June 11, 2010 at 8:41 PM

#28, I was generally speaking because that';s where the engines were going to…parDON me.

54 Really? June 11, 2010 at 9:24 PM

The fire is out? Really? That’s terrific!!!

55 anon June 11, 2010 at 9:28 PM

I believe the fire is contained – but not out. A fire that is contained is surrounded, and expected to be kept within the perimeter in which it is contained, but sometimes circumstances occur in which it escapes the perimeter.

CBS5 reported at 8:45 that it was contained/surrounded.

56 Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 9:55 PM

You can still see it burning in the webcam link #20 posted.

57 Mom June 11, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Per the 11 news on Kron 4, the fire is completely contained. Also, a fire rep stated the same during an interview.

58 Ellie June 11, 2010 at 11:58 PM

It is almost midnite – lots of noise, sirens and helicopters and I am in Lafayette. What is going on?

59 mc. money June 12, 2010 at 12:27 AM

thanks flying tigers in the sky. trusut me people. if it werent for the helicopters(pilolts) alot of land wouldve been burned. =)

60 Bill June 12, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Photos of the fire and tankers can be found on my website if any one is interested.


61 Bill June 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM

need a url.. Duh!

62 Anonymous June 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Great photography Bill. WOW…. I know NOTHING about photography, but those helicopter photos with the blades in view are amazing.. I think if I took a photo with my crappy camera they’d be all a blur. Is that a fast shutter speed? Or? Just curious.

63 Anonymous June 12, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Thanks! Yes it is a fast shutter speed.. I think about 1/1000th of a second or close to that.
Glad you enjoyed the shots!


64 Bill June 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Thanks for the kind words.
Yes, a fast shutter speed .. around 1/1000th of a second.

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