4-alarm fire at Mare Island Preserve started by 'malicious damage,' fire investigator says

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Fire crews battled a vegetation fire at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve early Wednesday morning, which was started by "malicious damage," authorities said.

Someone intentionally cut two power poles, causing the lines to go down and flames to erupt about 3:10 a.m., Vallejo fire investigator Bill Tweedy said. Tweedy showed KTVU the damaged power pole where the fire started; the pole looked as though someone had tried to slice it around the middle and blades were found nearby.

No structures were being threatened other than possibly Navy bunkers, officials said. No evacuations were ordered, and the fire was 50 percent contained before 7 a.m.

The fire was located at a hard-to-reach area, and there was limited water supply for fire crews to use to extinguish the flames.

The 215-acre preserve is located on Railroad Avenue and O'Hara Court  in Vallejo and is owned by the city. It formerly served as the U.S. Navy's first Naval Ammunition Depot, founded in 1857.

The  property was granted to Vallejo through the State Lands Commission in 2002. 

Until it was re-eopened for access in April 2008, the land was off-limits to the public.