More than 60 fires in Contra Costa Co. likely started by July 4th fireworks, officials say

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Over 60 fires in Contra Costa Co. believed to be started by fireworks
Among the dozens of suspected fireworks-related incidents in the East Bay, a man severely damaged his hand, a teenager was injured, a house was burned down, and a 3-acre fire that got close to homes was started.

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters in Contra Costa County responded overnight to more than 60 fires which they say were mostly caused by fireworks during 4th of July celebrations.

A Pleasant Hill man in his 60s had his hand severely damaged from mishandling fireworks, and a teenager was injured in a separate fire-related incident.

VIDEO: Illegal 4th of July fireworks light up Bay Area skies

Illegal fireworks are once again lighting up the Bay Area skies on this Fourth of July.

"We haven't tallied up the EMS calls up yet this morning, but we're confident that a lot of those EMS calls, and we had a lot last night, were related to fireworks injuries," Steve Hill with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said.

Hill says mishandling of fireworks led to a three-acre fire in Walnut Creek that got close to homes. Crews stopped the spread of that fire before any evacuations had to be ordered.

He also says fireworks most likely led to a house fire in Antioch that left the house destroyed.

VIDEO: Chaotic 4th of July sideshow in Antioch with illegal fireworks

Chaos broke out in Antioch Tuesday night as crowds gathered for a sideshow while lighting illegal fireworks at the same time.

"Of the 60-plus fires, we know for sure eight weren't caused by fireworks. We also know eight were definitely caused by fireworks. And the remainder, do the math, were all likely caused by fireworks," Hill said.

Hill says they prepared for this day by up-staffing all stations and learning from previous July 4th incidents. However, he says this year saw more incidents than last.

"We still had a pretty significant increase," Hill said. "Looks like about a 25% increase in fires, fire responses year over year."

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