Fairfield fire a close call for several home owners
FAIRFIELD, Calif (KTVU) - A fire that burned close to homes caused a scare among people who live and work in the Cordelia area of the Fairfield Monday afternoon.
"The whole hill was on fire," said Christina Thomson whose husband Chris pointed out, "the hill over there next to the houses."
The fire broke out shortly after 4:30 p.m. on the hillside.
It prompted police officers to let residents know there was a mandatory evacuation order in place that affected 30 homes.
People hosed down grass behind homes to protect their property.
"Terrifying, not knowing what to do, scrambling around," said Caroline Jamias-Cadenas who lives on Dawson Creek Street.
She showed KTVU photos she took as the flames moved toward homes.
Neighbor Christina Thomson grabbed her wedding dress and other irreplaceable items such as a drawing, "My mom made this for me. She drew it of me."
The firefight was aggressive. Fairfield Fire received help from many agencies including Cal Fire.
"There were 20 to 30-foot flames so I started packing up a bunch of essential stuff. Loaded that and the dog in the car," said Cathy Chilcott.
Businesses in the area were also evacuated.
Many people decided not to evacuate when they saw that firefighters got the upper hand fairly quickly. They also said they wanted to stay by their homes to keep an eye on them.
"We do not know what the cause of the fire is. We're around the Fourth of July season. If we could just ask everyone not to go off with the fireworks because we've had a number of fires," said Lt. Jausaiah Jacobsen with Fairfield Police.
In Hercules and the neighboring community of Rodeo shortly before 2 p.n, Monday afternoon, two small grass fires near Interstate 80 merged into one.
Flames blackened 230 acres, but no homes damaged and no injuries.
"The good news is that it burned pass the petrochemical structure behind me pretty quickly and it also burned past houses," said Steve Hill with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
Back in Fairfield, Thomson was feeling fortunate that her two-month-old baby girl, husband and home escaped unharmed. But she's bracing for a difficult fire season ahead.
"I learned my lesson. I have everything by the door to go. All the valuables" said Thomson.
The evacuation order was lifted around 7:30 p.m.
Neighbors say there are homeless encampments in the area that may have started the fire.
Fire officials say the cause of the fires in Solano and Contra Costa counties are under investigation.