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Con Fire records 30% more incidents on July 4th than last year

Con Fire’s first major fire on July 4, 2024 occurred on Leland Drive in Pittsburg and the last major fire occurred that night in Antioch on the hill behind the mall at Hillcrest Avenue and Larkspur Drive. The area burned on the Hillcrest Avenue side of the hill. Top left photo and aerial photo of Con Fire. Bottom left photo by Allen D. Payton.

Including 3 traumatic injuries from fireworks; most fire reports were in Antioch, followed by Pittsburg

By Allen D. Payton

According to a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) report, the team responded to a total of 317 incidents between 10:00 a.m. on July 4, 2024, and 3:00 a.m. on July 5. That’s a 30% increase from the 243 incidents Con Fire responded to last year, including three traumatic fireworks injuries.

Source: Con Fire

Of this year’s incidents, 129 were fire-related, including 92 outdoor fires, 16 vegetation fires, 13 structure fires and eight other types of fires. All four categories saw an increase compared to 2023, with outdoor fires more than doubling in number.

Source: Con Fire

Antioch had the most fire calls with about 45 total, followed by 20 in Pittsburg and 10 in Bay Point. All other cities and towns in Con Fire’s area of ‚Äč‚Äčoperation had fewer than 10 fire calls.

Source: Con Fire

Reports of major fires began at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with a vegetation fire on Leland Road in Pittsburg that was confirmed to have been started by fireworks and burned 10 acres. The last major incident was another vegetation fire that broke out around 10:30 p.m. in Antioch on the hill on Hillcrest Avenue behind the Hillcrest Crossings Shopping Center between KFC and the County Market Asian grocery store. It led to the evacuation of six homes.

According to Captain Christopher Toler, Con Fire’s senior fire chief, a nursing home in Lotus Court was evacuated first. Firefighters then decided to evacuate all six homes closest to the fire. Building protection measures were in place and the fire stopped at the fence lines at the top and bottom of the hill.

Videos of the fire of Antioch can be found here, here, here and here.