Dozens of Bay Area fires break out on July 4 because of fireworks

More than 20 fires broke out in the Bay Area on July 4 and many of them were sparked by illegal fireworks, firefighters said. 

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District responded to at least eight fires Thursday night, including one on Lotus Court, where residents of about six homes were told to evacuate as flames climbed the hillsides. 

ConFire said that fireworks caused the first fire to spark on Heaton Court in Antioch around 9 p.m., burning about half an acre.

By 10 p.m., ConFire was called to Casitas Court for a residential fire which crews were able to prevent from spreading to the home; fireworks were also the suspected cause.

Then, about 20 miles away, ConFire said fireworks likely sparked a 3-acre grass fire in Martinez.

In one scene, a police officer was seen stomping out some sparking firecrackers, which are banned in Contra Costa County. 

Here's a quick look at what ConFire faced over the 17 hour period between 10a.m Thursday and 3a.m Friday morning. 

  • Over 11,000 calls made to dispatchers
  • Crews were dispatched to over 310 calls
  • Over 90 exterior fires
  • 13 structure fires
  • 16 vegetation fires

Five additional fires were reported in Contra Costa County on Thursday as well, including a fire on Kimball Island, which may have been caused by unsanctioned fireworks. 

Early Friday morning, Lyndsay Webb, who lives on Lotus Court, was cleaning up fireworks from the street.

She said every July 4 people come to her neighborhood, even walking onto her driveway, to watch the skies as fireworks go off to celebrate Independence Day.

The neighbor says her dog alerted her to flames outside her house. 

"So, I go run and grab my hose just to water down the fence and around my house," she said. "I just grabbed my son, grabbed my dog and said, ‘OK, we gotta go.’ "  

But the East Bay wasn't the only area to see fireworks-inspired fire. 

Up north in Santa Rosa, firefighters said fireworks caused a house fire about 10 p.m. on July 4 on Cavendish Avenue at Amador Drive.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department said the fire began in dry brush near the house, which then spread into the attack. The one person who was home was able to escape, firefighters said. 

Santa Rosa firefighter said that was one of about a dozen calls related to the illegal use of fireworks. 

Grass fire in Martinez on July 4. Photo: Con Fire