Oakland: Pair of canyon fires contained after four-alarm response

"Oakland firefighters battle a four-alarm vegetation fire in Dimond Canyon Park along Park Boulevard near Estates Drive in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)"

“Oakland firefighters battle a four-alarm vegetation fire in Dimond Canyon Park along Park Boulevard near Estates Drive in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)”


OAKLAND — A pair of brush fires burning in Dimond Canyon below Park Boulevard quickly went to four alarms Tuesday afternoon, but were contained in less than an hour, Oakland fire officials said.

The first blaze was reported at 1:56 p.m. near the intersection of Park Boulevard and Estates Drive, according to Oakland fire Battalion Chief Lisa Baker. Crews arriving on the scene minutes later spotted the second fire, which was about a half-mile north of the first.

There were no reports of injuries or structural damage from the fires.

Crews sprayed water at the blazes from roads above the canyon while firefighters prepared to head down the slopes to confront the fires with hand tools and chainsaws. CalFire helicopters also dropped water on the blaze.

“Our concern was the high power lines (over the area of the fire) because at one point we had flames about 30 feet in the air,” Baker said.

Both fires were contained around 2:45 p.m., she added.

“We just smelled the smoke, (then) we heard the helicopters and the sirens,” said resident Jamie Barr, 18, who lives about two blocks from the more southern fire. “Once we walked to the Leimert (Boulevard) bridge, we saw tons of smoke.”

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Barr added that he had seen another fire in the same area three days ago.

Baker said it was too soon to know whether the fires were suspicious in nature. Investigators were checking the scene Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported about two miles from the ignition point of the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm. That wind-whipped fire spread quickly from the hills toward the canyons, killing 25 people and destroying 3,400 homes.

Staff writer Rick Hurd contributed to this story.

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