BAY AREA, CA — Firefighters scrambled to keep up with dozens of fires in cities and counties across the region Sunday, many of them apparently sparked by July 4 fireworks, with one East Bay fire department reducing responses to all but structure fires due to the overwhelming volume of fires.
The largest appears to be the Lake Fire in Santa Clara County, which had burned at least 220 acres and forced evacuations outside Morgan Hill by Sunday afternoon.
Officials haven't determined whether it was sparked by fireworks. It was one of at least 20 fires that broke out in Santa Clara County overnight, including a grass fire at Watson Park in San Jose.
The San Francisco Fire Department said it responded to 110 fires between 3 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Sunday, with all but two attributed to fireworks.
Most of the holiday fires were on the city's southeast side, the department said, and two youths were treated for burns from fireworks.
Fireworks ignited a fire that burned five acres at 1199 Thomas Ave. in the Bayview district that threatened a dozen motorhomes before it was contained. There were no injuries reported in the incident.
This fire last night ended up being 6 acres with over a dozen motor homes (Homes) saved by #YOURSFFD. No injuries. https://t.co/sWzce22WLD pic.twitter.com/qRMi0AnP3D
— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) July 5, 2020
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District began reducing responses to all but structure fires around the same time, citing multiple fires as the cause. Con Fire reports its responded to 67 fires between 7 p.m. and midnight.
Between 7 pm & midnight, Con Fire responded to 67 fires, with the peak in the 9 pm hour when crews responded to 30. In all, 10 structure, 27 veg & other exterior fires. 16 fireworks caused. In spite of dozens of structures threatened, not a single home was lost. #confiresafe4th pic.twitter.com/xd7CmpTKPt
— Con Fire PIO (@ContraCostaFire) July 5, 2020
In Alameda County, dozens of fires were reported, including a vegetation fire that damaged a San Leandro commercial building and others in Dublin and Newark, the.
Fire officials had expected a chaotic night, telling the East Bay Times that months of stay-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic appear to have left people feeling cooped up.
Bay City News contributed to this report.