Grass fire that threatened a dozen homes in San Ramon under investigation

Byby Katie Utehs via KGO logo
Monday, September 24, 2018
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A wind-pushed grass fire in San Ramon threatened about a dozen homes, forcing evacuations. Thankfully, firefighters were able to put the blaze out quickly.

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters investigated a grass fire Sunday in San Ramon that forced the evacuation of about a dozen homes. It was one of several fires spread by breezy conditions in the East Bay.

A blackened hillside serves as a reminder of a scary afternoon.

"It was quite terrifying actually," said Becky Greywall, a resident who evacuated.

Around four in the evening people who live on Estancia Court started smelling smoke.

"It looked like two houses on the end were on fire. Then I saw the flames all come over to the left hand side and it looked like a wall of flames," said Linda Lalli, San Ramon.

"I was literally just scared that it would get to our house," recalled Evan Lalli.

"It came within a couple... probably 30 feet from the houses, but we have a station nearby and they were able to initiate fire attack quickly," said Battalion Chief Dan McNamara, San Ramon Valley Fire.

People from around a dozen homes evacuated, ten acres burned, and there were no injuries or damage. The burned hillside is East Bay Regional Parks and private land. It's used for cattle grazing and there are hiking trails. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"I didn't even actually know if we would be able to move back into our homes tonight so we were very relieved," said Greywall.

Along Highway Four in Concord a grass fire snarled traffic near Willow Pass Road. At one point a lane of highway closed to accommodate fire equipment. The fire burned ten acres.

Back in San Ramon homeowners are feeling lucky and plan to better prepare.

"But now I know I need to get a go bag and get ready for an emergency because I left my house without anything," said Lalli.