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Wildfire chars 800 acres, forces evacuations in Contra Costa County

September 08, 2013|By Teresa Watanabe
  • A 400-acre vegetation fire burns Sunday on the east side of Mount Diablo along Morgan Territory Road in unincorporated Contra Costa County in Northern California.
A 400-acre vegetation fire burns Sunday on the east side of Mount Diablo… (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Associated…)

A wildfire forced the evacuation of dozens of residents and threatened more than 50 structures near Mt. Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County on Sunday, fire officials said.

Nearly 250 firefighters battled the blaze with air tankers and helicopters as it quickly spread to 800 acres amid high temperatures and dry conditions.It was 10% contained by Sunday evening, but crews hoped to bring it fully under control by Monday morning, said Brandon Leitzke, battalion chief for Cal Fire.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation, Leitzke said.

An evacuation was ordered for a day-use area of Mt. Diablo State Park, but visitors did not appear to be threatened, Leitzke said. Evacuations were also ordered for Oak Hill Lane, Curry Canyon and Curry Point. An evacuation center was set up at Clayton Community Library in Clayton, but it was not clear how many residents had gone there, he said.

Leitzke said the fire spread relatively quickly through the sparsely populated area because of the steep terrain,  limited access and abundance of dry fuel of brush and grass.

“It might get a little larger through the night, but it’s not going to burn for days and days,” he said.

Hand crews continued to build containment lines around the blaze, but operations to douse it with water and fire retardanthad stopped for the night.

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Twitter: @TeresaWatanabe

teresa.watanabe@latimes.com

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