First Official Day of Summer Makes for a Busy Day for Firefighters

IMG_1913As the first official day of summer comes to a close, firefighters throughout the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District continue to brace for a long and busy summer. With resources in the CCCFPD still stretched dangerously thin, as 7 of their 30 fire companies have been de-staffed or experienced station closures, crews from all over the district were kept hazardously busy.

Shortly before 2 pm (1:44) a grass fire in El Sobrante initially began as a small ¼ acre incident but quickly grew extremely dangerous as the prolonged drought, windy conditions and extremely dry grass caused the fire to quickly grow to almost 15 acres. The path of the fire threatened many homes and a second alarm was called for structure protection. A Strike Team of 5 fire engines and a Strike Team Leader was requested to the El Sobrante incident for additional structure protection because there were not enough resources within CCCFPD to mitigate both incidents simultaneously. Fire crews from various agencies within Contra Costa County (Richmond, Moraga/Orinda, Pinole, Rodeo-Hercules, and San Ramon Valley) and a Strike Team from Solano County assisted CCCFPD in covering the communities left unprotected by the resources already committed to the growing fire. In addition to the firefighting efforts, CCCFPD medically treated an elderly homeowner for smoke inhalation.

Six minutes after the fire in El Sobrante began (1:50) a reported structure fire at a home in Pittsburg was dispatched and responding crews reported smoke enroute to the location. Once on scene, the Incident Commander reported smoke from the roof and attic. Crews had difficulty making access to the fire once inside due to extreme fire loading and “hoarding” conditions. Three additional fire companies were requested to assist crews on-scene and to overhaul the structure to ensure the fire was completely out. Despite that trouble gaining access, fire crews were able to rescue three kittens from the residence and fully extinguish the fire.