CAL FIRE urges vigilance after house fire turned to wildfire in unincorporated Contra Costa Co.

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, November 2, 2023
CAL FIRE cautions after house fire turned to wildfire near Moraga
Evacuation warnings were lifted in the community of Canyon near Moraga, where a home was destroyed as a fire spread to nearby brush.

CANYON, Calif. (KGO) -- An evacuation warning has been lifted in an unincorporated community in Contra Costa County after a house fire turned into a wildfire overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

The fire in Canyon, near Moraga, was contained early Thursday morning. Fire officials say that a home was destroyed as the fire spread to nearby brush.

MORE: Red Flag conditions cause fires to spread at multiple Bay Area locations

One neighbor described being a witness to the fire.

"We heard an explosion, and then a few minutes later we heard fire trucks and I went out to the deck and we saw a house completely engulfed in flames," Christine Lavin said.

The Moraga Orinda Fire Department issued an "All-Clear" advisory for Canyon residents shortly before 2 a.m.

Earlier, residents were advised to prepare to evacuate as the fire broke out near the Post Office in Canyon.

The Moraga-Orinda Fire Marshal said the fire burned between half an acre to a full acre.

VIDEO: Strategic management helps protect redwoods from future wildfires in Santa Cruz Mountains

Three years after the CZU fire that roared through the San Vicente Redwoods, you can go experience the changing landscape.

The fire marshal also said they had major access issues with very narrow roads and a limited water supply. That's why they had to bring in support from CAL FIRE and other crews.

Jason Clay, a spokesperson for CAL FIRE's Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, told ABC7 that what used to be a fire season has now expanded.

"The big takeaway is that we're more so in a year-round vulnerability of wildfire," Clay said.

While that fire was knocked down within a few hours, Clay says he wants people living in California to know it's no longer just a fire season, but rather a year-round concern.

"We've gone through recently, some of these wet weather patterns where we transition from a little bit of wet moisture coming into just last week, we had the red flag warnings so residents can continue to expect that and we'll see what the winds bring," he said.

VIDEO: Endless cycle of wildfires threatening gains on air pollution in CA, Stanford experts say

Researchers at Stanford's Doerr School of Sustainability say an ongoing cycle of wildfires is literally tipping the balance on air pollution in California.

That's why they're encouraging homeowners to stay vigilant, be prepared, and take the time to create at least 100 feet of defensible space around their homes.

"Make sure you're trimming your grasses, any dead and down material that you may have in your yard or property, looking at other home hardening measures that you can take around your home, not having things that could ignite, say on your deck," he said.

CAL FIRE says they are still at peak staffing levels in the event of the next big fire.

They're also using Daylight Saving Time as a reminder for folks to check their smoke detectors and make sure they have an escape plan to get out of their home in the event of a fire.

Bay City News contributed to this report

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live