Clayton, CA — A fire near Mt. Diablo State Park forced several people in the surrounding area to evacuate on Sunday. The fire began around 1:15 pm local time on the edge of the state park.
Smoke from the California fire quickly filled the air and could be seen as far as San Francisco, where spectators at the San Francisco Giants game took photos from the stands.
The fire had spread to 15 acres by 2:15 pm and was up to 350 acres by 5 pm, reports KTVU.
Fire crews fought the fast-growing blaze with helicopters and air tankers. The brush fire near Mt. Diablo threatened 50 to 75 homes on Oak Hill Lane, Curry Canyon Road, and the Curry Point area.
As a result, the Contra Costa County sheriff’s officers ordered all residents, about 1,100, in the area to evacuate, according to The Contra Costa Times.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee released a warning to the residents, telling them to leave immediately by car using Morgan Territory road, which was lose to the fire.
Lee told the residents to take essential items and their pets, in a carrier or on a leash. They were also instructed to lock windows and doors and stay off the phone unless it was an emergency.
Evacuees were sent to the Clayton Community Library on Clayton Road. It is possible that more residents will be evacuated as the fire grows. The Mt. Diablo fire was fueled by high temperatures and a slight breeze. CalFire Battalion Chief Mike Martin explained that the fire was moving south along the park’s boundary.
As they fought to contain the blaze, which grew to more than 800 acres by the evening, Clayton Mayor Julie Pierce explained that residents were likely remembering the city’s last major fire. Two lightning strikes on August 2, 1977, sparked a fire after two years of drought. The blaze charred 6,000 acres on the north face of Mt. Diablo in just one day.
Firefighters from CalFire, the San Ramon Valley Fire District, the Contra Costa Fire District, and the East Bay Regional Park District, are working to control the blaze. The Mt. Diablo fire was 10 percent contained by Sunday night.
[Image via ShutterStock]