OAKLAND -- Oakland fire crews planned to remain in Dimond Canyon through Wednesday, monitoring the wooded area where five suspicious fires provoked a heavy response the day before, officials said.

Two brush fires in the deep canyon below Park Boulevard went to four alarms before being contained just before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oakland fire Battalion Chief Lisa Baker said. Crews were called to the first blaze at 1:56 p.m. and declared the two fires under control at 2:58 p.m.

Three other fires were put out quickly before they could spread significantly.

The canyon is surrounded by million-dollar homes, but none of them burned and nobody was injured. Crews remained through the night and were slated to monitor the area all day on Wednesday, Baker said, after seven fires burned over the past four days in the area, Baker said.

An Oakland firefighter sprays water onto a four-alarm brush fire in the canyon near Sausal Creek below Park Boulevard, Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Oakland,
An Oakland firefighter sprays water onto a four-alarm brush fire in the canyon near Sausal Creek below Park Boulevard, Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Oakland, Calif. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

"We want to maintain a presence because of the suspicious nature of these fires, and because we had a couple of fires last week," Baker said. "We want people to know we're out here."

The first blaze started near the intersection of Park Boulevard and Estates Drive and scorched about 2 acres. Crews arriving spotted the second fire about a half-mile north of the first one. That fire burned about 2½ acres, Baker said.

Crews sprayed water on the fires from roads above the canyon, and California Department of Corrections inmate firefighters hiked into the canyon to assist with fire control. CalFire helicopters dropped water.

Some of the flames burned as high as 30 feet in the air, Baker said, and threatened some of the high power lines in the area.


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The 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm began two miles from where Tuesday's fires began. The 1991 blaze spread quickly from the hills to the canyon and killed 25 people while destroying 3,400 homes.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh. Contact Kristin J. Bender at 510-208-6453 and follow her at Twitter.com/kjbender.

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