PITTSBURG -- A record-breaking heat wave that thrust temperatures over 100 degrees Monday played a role in two large grass fires that threatened homes and burned hundreds of acres of land in Contra Costa County, fire officials said.
A stubborn wildland fire along Kirker Pass Road burned 492 acres, jumped a ridge to the north and made its way toward Pittsburg homes, though firefighters were had it under control around 6:45 p.m.. A second fire, reported near Concord Avenue and Vineyard Parkway in Brentwood, burned 247 acres before it was contained about 5:30 p.m., according to CalFire.
At the Kirker Pass Road fire in Pittsburg, two sheds and a barn were fully engulfed in flames. The three-alarm fire was first reported at 1:17 p.m. Monday, according to the Contra Costa Fire Protection District. Cal Fire reported the blaze was fully contained about 6:45 p.m., but only after 492 acres had burned.
Contra Costa Fire Protection District spokesman Robert Marshall said that he didn't know if the many downed power lines were the cause or a result of the fire. There's no evidence the fire was caused by human activity, he said.
The blaze threatened up to five homes and barns, according to Marshall. Helicopters from East Bay Regional Parks and Cal Fire battled the blaze overhead, and agencies on site included Concord Police Department, East Bay Regional Parks, East Contra Costa Fire, Con Fire and Cal Fire.
Residents from a cluster of homes nearby were evacuated, and Marshall said there are no known injuries.
In the Brentwood fire, which broke out about 3:15 p.m. near Ventura Drive and John Muir Parkway, 247 acres of grassland were burned by the fast-moving blaze, said Chief Hugh Henderson of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. No injuries were reported in the fire, nor were any buildings burned despite a brief threat to a subdivision off the Highway 4 bypass road.
Five units attacked the two-alarm fire by helicopter, and Cal Fire assisted in the effort, Henderson said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Kirker Pass Road remained closed for cleanup as of 9:30 p.m. Monday evening, but officials said they hoped to have it open by the morning commute.
Staff writer Paul Burgarino contributed to this report.