UPDATE: Multiple Vegetation Fires in Claycord on Friday Night

July 5, 2014 11:50 am · 30 comments


Firefighters were called to multiple fires throughout Contra Costa County on Friday night as many Fourth of July celebrations were in full swing, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman said.

Fire crews responded to a report of a vegetation fire at the ends of Irene Drive and Waterbird Way in Martinez around 7:30 p.m., fire Capt. Robert Marshall said.

The blaze in a remote area spread to 3 acres and was under control by about 8 p.m., he said.

The cause of that fire is under investigation.

A report of another vegetation fire in the 1400 block of Bentley Street in Concord came in around 9:15 p.m., Marshall said.

The blaze spread to 2 acres along a creek was under control by about 10 p.m., he said.

The fire may have started by fireworks in a nearby ravine, Marshall said.

Another vegetation fire on North Sixth Street near Willow Pass Road in Concord was reported around 9:30 p.m., he said.

The fire spread to 2 acres and was under control about 20 minutes later, Marshall said.

Concord police were called to the scene of that fire because multiple parties in area continued to launch fireworks causing additional fires, he said.

In the three fires no injuries were reported and no structures were threatened, according to Marshall.

Throughout the course of the night Marshall said most incidents called in were for tree and brush fires.

Marshall said emergency response this year was easier compared to previous years with the help of the district’s seizure of fireworks and efforts in public education prior to the Fourth of July holiday.

Safe and same July 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

If they would just allow safe and same fireworks people wouldn’t have to go into these remote dry areas to hide to set off their July 4th celebratory pyrotechnics. Which would clearly prevent these issues. It’s been documented that cities which previously banned the safe and sane kind and then started allowing them again saw a decline in fireworks related problems. And at the same time they generated much revenue for non- profits and organizations that sell these types of fireworks to raise money. Stop crying “fire danger” and look at the facts. Too many control freaks spoil the barrel of fun in life.

J4 July 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

No structures burned and no injuries reported, thats good news.

Happy One July 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I’m amazed there weren’t more fires. I heard a lot of illegal fireworks in my neighborhood. Many more than in past years.

Bill July 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

@safe and same, That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day!! Show any proof of your so called “Documentation”.. It’s all fun and games until it’s YOUR house that’s burning down!! I suppose you think it’s also ok to throw burning cigarettes out the window of your car too??!!

julie July 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Oh they didn’t hide them in Dana Estates..sounded like Bahgdad

Concord July 5, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I hope the offenders causing these fires get a bill from the Fire Department for putting these fires out. It is ridiculous that anyone was blowing fireworks off in these winds. Jerks.

funny man July 5, 2014 at 1:43 PM

yah my ancestorally-challanged neighbor with his sister-wife and brother-cousins were firing them off in the streets, scarring the bejezus outta the poor dogs in the hood.
As a great philospher once said “Stupid is as stupid does”.

anonanonagain July 5, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I heard fireworks and M80’s being launched in my neighborhood around 1:30 2 am. Inconsiderate losers. They should charge people for the amount of man power and $$ it took to put out the grass fires, if they could find the idiots who set them off……

Antler July 5, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Julie at #5. …….
Yes, we could hear the Baghdad action from at least a mile away. Would have sent reinforcements if we could have spared them, but we had to take cover from heavy-stuff over here in Tikrit sector (Crestwood Circle/Lilac Ct.).

And I am intentionally NOT putting a smiley-face after that. It was bad.

Antler July 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM

That fire emblem is BEAUTIFUL! And I would like to thank all the firefighters.

meee July 5, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I smelled burning dry grass around 6 pm last night, only for about a minute though, in Martinez. Maybe they got lucky and got it out, or the FD did, but it made me jump up, cause anytime I smell that familiar smell I have to act. We live next to a lot of open country, and you have to take them seriously, esp with a little wind . And in the wrong direction, and start watering down wood… Keep a clear area round your homes and other fire prevention measures.. Also take it from me, the fire department will defend your area, your home, if you keep it a clear area. And even stage from your area, because they need an area to set up, work form that is less likely to burn into them as well. So your home will be doubly protected.. Until a wild fire gets close enough to drop embers on your roof, you might not take them as seriously as you should. Oakland hills thousands of people lost their homes.. Never underestimate these fires.. They create their own winds etc.. I see people with the makings of a disaster. Dry grass right up to a wooden fence and wham. There goes your home.. Seen it in the hills of Oakland before that tragedy as well,.. Last thing, never forget the man I was working for at the time warning people, people who later lost everything, that their homes were in extreme danger the way dry brush and Eucalyptus trees were right below their decks with million dollar views. Very few took notice btw.

At least one structure fire July 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Behind Los Primos Market on Meadow Lane. I believe it spread to a structure on Landini Lane.

@ Bill July 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Hysterical much? Lol

Cowellian July 5, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Here, hold my beer and watch this.

In Oakland, gunfire or fireworks caused a 12KV power line to fall, killing one man and critically injuring another. And in San Jose, a man lost both hands while holding a prematurely exploding firework, while a Sunnyvale man lost a bunch of fingers in another explosion.

@#1 July 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Sounds like you’re a real expert on the subject and have taken a lot of time to thoroughly research the topic- not. It’s “safe and saNe”, not “safe and saMe”.

Cowellian- I’m thinking we should actually supply a larger number, of even more powerful fireworks to Oakland and let natural selection continue to take its course.

brig July 5, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Why is there ZERO firework enforcement? I live off concord near Ygnacio Valley Road and there are better fireworks in the neighborhoods than at any firework show. How many tickets were written? Where are the stats. When you get off 680 in San Ramon there is a large BRIGHT orange sign that states: There are no Legal fireworks in Contra Costa County. Where Concord’s signs? Where’s the enforcement? What a joke.

LD July 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM

@Cowellian, thank you for posting that. Glad to hear at least a few of the idiots paid for their stupidity. No sympathy for them.

@brig, A few years ago, I listened to the scanner on July 4th. After 9:00, every 10-15 seconds the dispatchers called out a report of fireworks, and gave the location. This went on for 45 minutes or so, before it finally slowed down to one report every minute or so. There would have had to have been literally HUNDREDS of officers on duty to respond to all the calls. You want to know where the enforcement is? There is no way to handle all those calls in addition to all the other “regular” calls that come in. Simply isn’t possible. So, unless someone blows off a finger or something like that, there are no consequences. Remember, our society has devolved into a mindset that “it’s all about me and what I want.”

Cowellian July 5, 2014 at 6:16 PM

What wasn’t clear in the Oakland story was whether the guys who were electrocuted were involved in the shooting and/or fireworks that brought the line down.

@LD July 5, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I was listening to the scanner last night and that’s exactly how it was. There was no possible way CPD could have responded to all the calls about fireworks, especially when they had more important things like domestic violence with guns involved. I think they did actually respond to the report of idiots setting off fireworks under cars on Detroit Ave.

Anon July 5, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Glad to hear it. Now why were there a dozen incidents of gun fire in the Concord/Clayton area and yet there were no sirens last night and no news today about arrests. Why in the world are the citizens of this area turning a blind eye to such a dangerous person or persons.

Silva July 5, 2014 at 9:15 PM

#20, I’m open to suggestions.

Anon July 5, 2014 at 10:31 PM

How about each good neighbor take to his car and take a drive around their neighborhood.

Anon July 5, 2014 at 10:31 PM

So is there another fire out there, or are my neighbors enjoying a fire in the fireplace?

Legalize Safe and Sane fireworks July 5, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Safe and sane rated fireworks should be allowed. The complete ban of fireworks is insane- the fireworks that cause fire are the ones that are not rated safe and sane. Go ahead and ban matches too. They also start fires! And ban guns; they kill people!

Silva July 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

#22, That’s it?

Silva July 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

#15, Where do you think the geniuses go to buy them?

Silva July 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I’m so ready. Next time I hear shots fired, I’m in my car driving toward the direction of the sound, lest it be said I wasn’t a good neighbor!

Concord Guy July 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

On Louisiana Drive in Concord, right across from Highlands Park, an entire family and group of friends set up lawn chairs on their driveway and set off illegal fireworks hours. We’re talking ground fireworks as well as rockets. Behind their house is a hillside with dry grass. Go figure.

These people didn’t even have the courtesy to sweep up the debris on the street. It is still there as of this morning.

Brig July 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

That’s sad to hear so many. Really says a lot about the character of CCC residents. Maybe a volunteer force with the ability to issue tickets. Cant be rocket science, can it?

Concord Guy July 8, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Brig, so many of the people setting off these illegal firworks are drinking…I wouldn’t want a civic-minded volunteer to get assaulted.

Law enforcement is under-resourced on July 4. Perhaps there can be neighborhood blogs set up to publicly shame these people?

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